Gayle’s RCB thrash Royals in first IPL qualifier
PUNE, India (CMC):
Chris Gayle sparkled but only briefly, but half-centuries from South African AB de Villiers and Mandeep Singh helped to fire Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) one step closer to the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a commanding 71-run victory over Rajasthan Royals here yesterday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Opting to bat first in the second playoff game, RCB rallied to 180 for four off their 20 overs, with de Villiers at his brilliant best, with 66 off 38 balls, and Mandeep Singh stroking 54 not out from 37 deliveries.
The left-handed Gayle blasted 27, while seamer Dhawal Kulkarni finished with two for 28.
Gayle and captain Virat Kohli (12) gave RCB a measured start of 41 from 36 balls. Gayle looked in the mood to play a big innings, striking four fours and a six off 27 balls.
The right-handed de Villiers struck four fours and four sixes while Mandeep, a 23-year-old right-hander, hammered seven fours and two sixes.
In response, Ajinkya Rahane hit 42 at the top of the innings, but no other batsman passed 15, as Royals collapsed to 109 all out off 19 overs.
Pacer Harshal Patel, with two for 15 and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, two for 20, were two of four bowlers ending with two wickets each.
With the victory, RCB have qualified for today's final qualifier, where they will face Chennai Super Kings, featuring the West Indies duo of Dwayne Bravo and Dwayne Smith.
Mumbai Indians, with Kieron Pollard and Lendl Simmons, await the winner of this contest in Sunday's final.