Any hopes the Kochi Tuskers Kerala had of successfully defending a modest total were promptly obliterated by Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan Royal Challengers, sporting a green outfit in a contrived marketing bid to boast of their environmentally-friendly worth, won Sunday’s Indian Premier League clash in Bangalore with ease.
Having won the toss and opted to bat first, Kochi got off to a comfortable start thanks to Michael Klinger’s 24 and Brendon McCullum’s 22 at the top of the order. The rest of the Tuskers’ line-up, however, could not step up in support of the top-order duo, with Ravindra Jadeja’s 23 and Parthiv Patel’s 19 as good as it got for the visiting side.
Failures from Brad Hodge (five) and Mahela Jayawardene (three), in particular, hurt Kochi’s quest for a 160-plus score on a relatively fair-paced pitch at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Spinner Daniel Vettori (two for 24) and seamer Sreenath Aravind (two for 20) were the pick of the bowlers, while two remarkably acrobatic run-outs from wicketkeeper AB de Villiers typified the hosts’ all-round commitment in the field.
Bangalore’s response with the bat was entirely brief.
13.1 overs was all that was needed for Gayle and Dilshan, with Virat Kohli along for the ride, to ensure a nine-wicket victory.
West Indian recruit Gayle, who on Friday blazed his second whirlwind century of the tournament, cranked a swashbuckling five sixes and three fours across his 16-ball knock of 44. The powerful left-hander took a particular liking to the fodder coughed up by Prasanth Parameswaran as the plighted medium-pacer fetched a whopping 37 runs, four massive sixes included, in the third over of the innings.
While Gayle’s departure to a near yorker from Vinay Kumar provided some brief respite for the visiting side, there was ultimately no recovery from the initial onslaught for shellshocked Kochi.
Sri Lankan captain Dilshan picked up where Man of the Match Gayle left off. Kohli, meanwhile, dug deep for a tidy 27 not out.
With the near impossible task of replicating the carnage orchestrated by his fellow opener, Dilshan was happy to plough through a series of fours rather than go the aerial route over midwicket and surrounds.
Eight boundaries, a token six and 52 unbeaten runs in total later from the in-form right-hander, and victory was on Bangalore’s doorstep with all of 6.5 overs to spare.
Sunday’s result left Kochi languishing at sixth in the 10-man standings, while Bangalore climbed to third position behind table-toppers Mumbai and Kolkata. Cricket365