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Mumbai fail to tame Gayle storm

Some amazing pyrotechnics from Chris Gayle saw Royal Challengers Bangalore crush Mumbai Indians by nine wickets at the Wankhede stadium here today.

Chasing 142 to win, Gayle smacked the Mumbai Indians bowlers all over the park to achieve the target with 12 balls to spare.

The West Indian left the hosts gobsmacked scoring an incredible unbeaten 82 off just 59 balls. His innings included 5 boundaries and 6 sixes.  

Gayle's 59-ball blitz was his fourth 80-plus knock this IPL season.

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle in full force. Pic/AFP 

The West Indian reached his fifty with a huge six of Pragyan Ojha in the 11th over. He struck Ojha for three successive sixes in that over which saw the bowler conceding 22 runs. That over virtually changed the complexion of the game after Mumbai kept it tight, not allowing the match run away quickly to RCB's favour.

Gayle was though lucky early in his innings as he was dropped by Dwayne Smith off the bowling of R P Singh when he was on 21 in the sixth over and Mumbai paid a heavy price for that costly mistake.

RCB's stand-in captain Virat Kohli, who struck a six to end the successful run chase, remained not out on 36 from just 25 balls while Tillakaratne Dilshan, with whom Gayle shared 48 runs for the first wicket, contributed 19 on a pitch which offered bounce and lateral movement.

Gayle and Kohli ensured the visitors' victory with an unfinished second wicket partnership of 94 runs in 58 balls.

With the win today, RCB jumped to fourth in the league table with 13 points from 12 matches, a rung behind MI and a point adrift. 

Earlier, wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik top-scored with a breezy 44 as Mumbai Indians struggled against a disciplined Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling attack to post 141 for six.

Karthik's 39-ball knock that included three fours and a six and his two significant partnerships with Sachin Tendulkar (24 in 27 balls) and Ambati Rayydu (22 in 39 balls) propped up the MI innings after they made a shocking start after being put to bat on a seam-friendly track.

MI lost two wickets in the second over. Both Zaheer and Vinay Kumar were impressive and the latter struck two big blows to send back left-handed opener James Franklin (1) and in-form number three Rohit Sharma (0) off the second and fifth balls of his first over, and the innings' second. Both the batsmen played rash shots. Franklin was lured by a short-pitched ball to play a slash and was caught by Zaheer at third man. Rohit played across and was beaten by the inward tilt to be trapped LBW, leaving MI at a sorry two for two.

Tendulkar, who hit four fours, and Karthik then stabilised the innings a bit with a stand of 39.

Tendulkar's dismissal at 41 in the ninth over saw Karthik and Ambati Rayudu joining hands to resurrect the stuttering innings with a stand of 44 in 33 balls. But the dismissal of both these batsmen as well as Dwayne Smith in the space of 11 balls jolted the innings and left MI struggling at 100 for six.

Finally it was left to Harbhajan Singh (20 not out off 12 balls with two sixes) and the fit-again Kieron Pollard (21 not out off 13 balls with three fours) to hit some lusty blows to boost the score with an unbroken stand of 41 in 25 balls.

Pollard carted Vinay Kumar for successive sixes in the last over in which the medium pacer gave away 18 runs. Vinay Kumar ended up with two for 34 while Harshal Patel and Muttiah Muralitharan secured identical two for 24.

Vinay troubled even Tendulkar with his movement and struck the master batsman on the pads once but the ball was missing the leg by a small margin and the batsman escaped. 

Tendulkar, on 1, also could have been dismissed run out had a throw from RCB stand-in skipper Virat Kohli had struck the striker's end stumps when he set off for a non-existent run with non-striker Karthik rooted to his crease.

Pollard
Kieron Pollard hits a big one. Pic/Atul Kamble

At the end of the fifth they were 12 for two. The sixth over, the last one in the power play period, was made highly productive by Tendulkar who struck Vinay Kumar for three glorious fours offs successive balls. The 13 runs taken in the over boosted MI's total to 25 at the end of the power play stage of the innings.

Karthik, who was looking set, struck Mohammed for two successive fours before trying to swing Muralitharan for a boundary only to be caught at long on. Dwayne Smith, the hero of the last ball win over the Chennai Super Kings, fell off the next ball having crossed over to leave Murali on a hat-trick that was denied to the bowler by Kieron Pollard. Harbhajan then hit two fours off Zaheer's last over, before Pollard, back in action after missing a few games due to a shoulder injury, hoisted Vinay for two huge sixes over the mid-wicket region.

But in the end Gayle made a mockery of the total. 

Brief Score:

Mumbai Indians: 141 for six wickets in 20 overs (Dinesh Karthik 44; Harshal Patel 2/24, Muttiah Muralitharan 2/24, R Vinay Kumar 2/ 34).

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 142 for one in 18 overs (Chris Gayle 82 not out, Virat Kohli 36 not out; Pragyan Ojha 1/25).

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