Gayle sizzles with 96
CHENNAI, India (CMC):
Superstar opener Chris Gayle narrowly missed out on a hundred, upstaging West Indies teammate Sunil Narine who, again, went wicket-less, as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets here yesterday.
Opting to bowl first, RCB restricted Knight Riders to 177 for six from their 20 overs, and then successfully chased down their target with six balls remaining, with Gayle smashing 96 from 56 deliveries.
The left-hander, who ruled himself out of the Test series against England because of fitness issues, hammered seven fours and seven sixes, to guide the RCB run chase.
He was one of only three batsmen in double figures, and one of two to pass 20, as South African AB de Villiers hit 28 from 13 deliveries, and Gayle's opener partner, captain Virat Kohli, got 13.
In fact, RCB struggled with partnerships, with the highest being a seventh-wicket stand of 38 between Gayle and Harshal Patel (9 not out).
Gayle, however, dropped on 33 in the 12th over, and again, on 63 in 16th, reached his half-century off 37 balls, before finally perishing via the run-out route in the 19th over.
For the second straight game, Narine proved economical, conceding just 26 runs, but was ineffective in the wickets column.
Earlier, West Indies all-rounder AndrÈ Russell blasted an unbeaten 41 off just 17 deliveries with six fours and two sixes, as KKR rallied to their eventual score.
Captain Gautam Gambhir top scored with 58 from 46 balls in an 81-run opening stand with Robin Uthappa, who scored 35.