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Chris Gayle goes big as Bangalore book final berth

Posted by on May 28, 2011 0 Comment

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The Mumbai Indians capitulated in the face of a daunting chase, and for their 43-run defeat crashed out of the Indian Premier League on Friday.

The Bangalore Royal Challengers, meanwhile, graduated to Saturday’s final against the Chennai Super Kings thanks to their quite thorough deconstruction of Sachin Tendulkar’s men in Chepauk.

With another monstrous knock from Chris Gayle in the bag, Bangalore were always favourites, provided Tendulkar or Kieron Pollard failed to upstage the big-hitting Bangalore recruit.

They didn’t, instead managing just 43 runs between them to Gayle’s 89, with no other Mumbai batsman able to step up in the absence of big runs from their stars.

Having won the toss and opted to bowl first, Mumbai laid the challenge to Gayle and company to go big or go home in the pressure clash. Bangalore grabbed ahold of the former good and proper, with the Windies power-hitter and sidekick Mayank Agarwal blazing a record 113-run alliance at a rate of 10.59 to the over.

Whereas Gayle was characteristically savage down the ground and swashbuckling over midwicket, Agarwal offered measured aggression across the off-side as the duo pummelled 13 fours and seven sixes between them.

While a bit of a middle-order wobble afforded Lasith Malinga cheap figures and Munaf Patel a belated two for 27, AB de Villiers provided the finishing touches to his team’s onslaught with an unbeaten 21-run cameo as Bangalore ended at 185 for four.

Mumbai’s reply was entirely disappointing, with the in-form outfit unable to replicate the form that saw them scream through the bulk of the league stages and the Eliminator against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

It was an absolute cracker that got rid of Tendulkar for 40 as Syed Mohammad (two for 25) pitched one on a penny outside the right-hander’s off-stump to have it whiz past the edge. The veteran, down the track in a bid to meet the ball at its pitch, was short of his crease by a Country Mile, stumped, and admittedly flummoxed by the rookie spinner.

The rogue promotion of pinch-hitters Harbhajan Singh and James Franklin failed to pay off as Sreenath Aravind (two for 27) successfully took his cue with the new ball and Daniel Vettori’s 11th over brace to get rid of key men Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma pretty much sealed the inevitable, unless Pollard had a final say.

He didn’t. Instead, his first quest to find the fence resulted in his demise thanks to an utter blinder from Abhimanyu Mithun, who held onto a one-handed catch while precariously balanced mere inches from the long-off rope.

Rajagopal Sathish, who earlier in the tourney professed he’d be good for it should opportunity with the bat knock, flattered to deceive, rather dragging his heels through a laboured attempt to farm the strike away from the unobliging tail-enders as Mumbai petered out at 142 for eight.

While there was good reason to hand Vettori the Man of the Match award for his three for 19, which included the key scalp of Pollard, ultimately Gayle bagged the accolade for a record sixth time this year thanks to yet another telling knock. Cricket365

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