Published:April 19, 2017 12:27 am
After a disappointing start to their IPL 2017 contest, Royal Challengers Bangalore returned to winning ways when they beat Gujarat Lions by 21 runs in Rajkot on Tuesday. Put into bat first, RCB were off to a flying start with Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli. Gayle was in the leading role as the left-hander went about doing business the only way he knows. During his 38-ball 77, he achieved plenty of milestones. He became the first batsman to score 10, 000 T20 runs and both him and Kohli reached 10 century stands. They are the only pair to do so for that number of times. Gayle’s wicket shifted focus on Kohli and the skipper didn’t let the scoring rate dip as he kept the board ticking.
(Results | Fixtures | Points Table)
There was some worry in the RCB dugout when Kohli made the long walk back in the 16th but Kedar Jadhav and Travis Head ensured the visitors finished strong. They hit brisk fifties and powered the side over the 200-run mark. For Gujarat, it was a bad day at the office for the bowlers and none except Basil Thampi made an impression. The experienced Ravindra Jadeja went for plenty and conceded as many as 57 runs in his quota of four overs.
In reply, Gujarat Lions were off to a terrible start as they lost opener Dwayne Smith in the second over of the innings. Next man in Suresh Raina came, promised but didn’t last long. Brendon McCullum was keeping the hopes alive but the right-hander didn’t the required support from the other end. Both Raina and Aaron Finch got their eye in but didn’t bat for long enough to trigger panic in the opposition dressing room.
The chase was still very much on when McCullum was around but all hopes were dashed when Yuzvendra Chahal sent the right-hander back in the 15th over of the innings. Ishan Kishan played with a lot of freedom in the death overs but the asking rate was out of reach at that stage. For RCB, spinners played a crucial role and Pawan Negi in particular was impressive with his 1/21. He was the most economical bowler on a day when others went for plenty. This win takes RCB to sixth position in the points table and they would hope not to look back from here on.
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