Gayle explodes at the crease

Chris Gayle sends another ball into the stands.
Chris Gayle sends another ball into the stands.

BANGALORE – Explosive West Indies opener Chris Gayle hit 85 not out from just 50 balls as the Royal Challengers Bangalore cruised to an eight-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League clash today.

Skipper Gautam Gambhir top-scored with 59 for the Knight Riders, who made 154 for 8 in their 20 overs, but Gayle, Virat Kohli (35) and AB de Villiers (22 not out) made sure the hosts claimed their third win from four IPL games so far this season.

Bangalore chose to field first and Moises Henriques (2-24) had Manvinder Bisla caught at point by a tumbling Lokesh Rahul in the opening over.

But Gambhir hit 59 off 46 balls and shared in stands of 51 with Jacques Kallis (16) and 41 with Yusuf Pathan (27), to ensure his side posted a reasonable total.

Manoj Tiwary chipped in with 23 later in the innings but England international Eoin Morgan made just two from five balls before he hit a low full-toss to long-on off RP Singh (3-27).

Bangalore lost Mayank Agarwal (6) in the third over, caught behind off Ryan McLaren, but Kohli and Gayle got the Royal Challengers on track with a stand of 63.

Kohli was involved in a heated exchange with Gambhir when he fell, caught in the deep by Morgan, but ended up having the last laugh as Gayle and De Villiers put on an unbroken 83 to secure the victory.

De Villiers was happy to coast along at a run-a-ball and give the strike to Gayle, who hit nine sixes, two in a row off Kallis in the 16th over, followed by a four, virtually wrapping up the win.

And the powerful left-hander ended the contest in grand style, pulling Lakshmipathy Balaji for six over deep square leg and then hitting another huge maximum over long-on two balls later, as the hosts reached their target with 15 balls to spare. (Sky)

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