Royal Challengers Bangalore survived some tense moments and lusty hitting by Dinesh Karthik to beat Mumbai Indians by 2 runs in a last over thriller at the M Chinnaswammy Stadium on Thursday.
Karthik, who top-scored for the Mumbai Indians with 60, needed to stay till the end, but fell in the last over. The action-packed last over by Vinay Kumar saw two wickets fall and with them Mumbai's chances of starting IPL 2013 with a win.
Asked to bat, Gayle first single-handedly powered RCB to a fighting 156 for five before Vinay Kumar (3/27) picked up two crucial wickets in a tense final over to restrict Mumbai to 154 for five.
Bowling the 20th over with Mumbai Indians needing 10 runs, Vinay Kumar dismissed Karthik (60, 37b, 3x4, 4x6) and Ambatti Rayudu (18) off the second and third balls, but more crucially gave away only six runs off the next three to fashion RCB's maiden win at home against the visitors.
The match provided considerable drama as 19-year old seamer and debutant Jasprit Bumrah picked up three wickets after being hit for three boundaries in his first over, while Gayle played a lone hand for RCB despite suffering an injury early in his innings while Vinay Kumar gave a final twist to the game.
Karthik's cameo all but overshadowed Gayle's typically explosive innings, as he took Mumbai close to the winning post by smashing 24 off Daniel Christian's over, the 17th of the innings, but eventually, it was Vinay Kumar's inspired spell that carried RCB home.
RCB skipper Virat Kohli was all praise for Gayle and his bowlers.
"We lost a few wickets early when the ball was doing a bit, but managed to put up a decent total. We also bowled and fielded well.
"As for Gayle, yes, he is our impact player and hats off to him. We hope he carries on the same way for the rest of the tournament," Kohli said.
A disappointed Mumbai Indians captain Ricky Ponting said: "We did well and should have got through, but we fell a bit behind at the half-way mark. Our bowling was a bit behind too and these are the areas we need to work on."
Mumbai began the chase steadily with modern-day icons Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar putting together a 52-run partnership with risk-free batting.
Ponting was the aggressive of the two, even stepping out to seamers while Tendulkar looked to be in better touch that was reflected in a few classic boundary hits.
Even as the pair looked set to step up the scoring rate, Tendulkar was run out after being sent back by Ponting who himself was stumped soon after as left-arm spinner Murali Karthik ruled him out of the crease.
Not long after, Rohit Sharma (11) lost his off-stump to Vinay Kumar, attempting a wild slog and Mumbai though losing just three wickets, could not accelerate, until Karthik, in the company of Rayudu stepped on the pedal with some thrilling hits.Chris Gayle smashed an unbeaten 92 to single-handedly power Royal Challengers Bangalore to a fighting 156 for five against Mumbai Indians.
Earlier, the RCB innings was a curious mixture of the sublime and the mediocre with first Kohli and then Gayle providing all the fireworks to take the hosts to a decent total.
After a relatively slow start, Gayle upped his tempo as he scored his 92 off just 58 deliveries and hit 11 boundaries and five towering sixes in the process.
Gayle initially adopted a wait-and-watch policy on a seaming Chinnaswammy track before exploding in the eight over.
Even though wickets kept tumbling at the other end, the big-hitting West Indian was hardly bothered as he went about his business in style, notching up his 13th IPL fifty and first of the season.
The start, however, was far from rosy for the home team as they lost Tillakaratne Dilshan early, bowled by Mitchell Johnson with the scoreboard reading just three.
Newly-appointed RCB captain Virat Kohli played a short 24-run cameo before he was LBW by debutant Jasprit Bumrah, who returned with the best figures for the Mumbai outfit scalping three wickets for 32 runs.
Bumrah, with a unique action, then accounted for Mayank Agarwal in his next over caught by Sachin Tendulkar.
With wickets falling at the other end, it took Gayle eight overs to broke his shackles when he cracked a boundary and a six off Bumrah in consecutive balls.
After a relatively quiet first 10 overs that produced just 59 runs, RCB rode on Gayle's pyrotechnics to score 97 runs in the next 60 deliveries.
After opening up, Gayle then targeted his West Indian team-mate Kieron Pollard, picking up 15 runs with two boundaries and a six off the 11th over
Out-of-favour India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh gave Mumbai a much-needed breakthrough in the form of Daniel Christian, caught at deep midwicket by Johsnson.
Bumrah scalped his third wicket when he trapped Karun Nair leg before to see RCB in a spot of bother a 80 for four in 12.4 overs. But Gayle and KB Arun Karthik (19 not out) shared an unconquered 81-run stand for the sixth wicket to take RCB past the 150-mark.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 156-5 [Chris Gayle 92*, Jasprit Bumrah 3-32] beat Mumbai Indians 154-5 [Dinesh Karthik 60, R Vinay Kumar 3-27] by 2 runs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Virat Kohli (captain), Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mayank Agarwal, Daniel Christian, Karun Nair, KB Arun Karthik, R Vinay Kumar, Murali Kartik, Jaydev Unadkat, Muttiah Muralitharan.
Ricky Ponting (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajan Singh, Jacob Oram, Munaf Patel.