It was yet again Chris Gayle, who single handedly fought the battle for Royal Challengers Bangalore, with his quick-fire 89 which was decorated with five sixes and as many as nine fours in 47 ball innings. Gayle, who got out early in the last match against Chennai Super Kings, was at his best, scoring 27 runs in the very first over. He sent the Chennai’s Chepauk stadium on fire along with Agarwal, hitting the Mumbai Indian bowlers, including Lasith Malinga, who was the proud owner of ‘Orange Cap’ for his economic spells so far, and veteran Indian leg-spinner, Harbhajan Singh.
Gayle’s blistering 89 helped his team post an imposing 185 for four. He hit at will to enthrall the capacity crowd. For their skipper Daniel Vetori, it has come as ‘blessing in disguise’ losing the toss, as they were determined to bat first to make best use of the Chepauk’s new track, which looked good for batting first. But, ironically, to Sachin the wicket looked otherwise and perhaps, thought it would be better for them to chase, instead of setting the target. Moreover, he appeared as if he had come with ‘proper’ game plan to trap the dangerous Gayle as well in-form Virat Kohli. But, his game play gone awry, as Gayle made his intentions clear going on leather hunt sending the ball out of ropes time and again. Even, smiling Malinga’s deadly ‘yorker’ failed to work against either of Bangalore openers as they looked more confident as well comfortable to send them to ropes. The duo put on 113 runs for the first wicket.
Chasing the huge total, Sachin Tendulkar, in fact, had conjured up hopes of a successful run-chase, blasting a 24-ball 40 but once he was dismissed, Mumbai Indians lost the plot completely. Aiden Blizzard though gave Mumbai a positive start hitting Zaheer Khan for a four past mid on in the first ball and picked up another boundary four balls later. Tendulkar also got into the act and blasted Sreenath Aravind for a couple of four across cover and over square leg boundary as Mumbai moved to 20 for two in two overs. Daniel Vettori then pressed Gayle into the attack and the West Indies all-rounder did well to frustrate Blizzard with his off-break as Aravind dismissed him in the next over when he tried to play a slog shot over long on. With this emphatic win, Royal Challengers Bangalore look good to recapture the cup. It got an opportunity to avenge defeat against Chennai Super Kings, to whom they lost in the ‘play off’ not so long ago.