Chris Gayle’s brilliant 96, supported by AB de Villiers’ 28 off 13 balls, gave the Royal Challengers Bangalore a three-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in Eden Gardens on Saturday.
Set 178 for victory, the Challengers struggled against the spin attack of the Riders, who used just six overs of pace: four from Morne Morkel and two from Andre Russell. AB de Villiers was one of those who fell, to a stumping off KC Cariappa in his debut match. It was touch-and-go for most of the innings and in the 17th over, the Challengers were struggling at 133-6.
But Gayle took advantage of a dropped catch by Morkel when on 63 to go on to 96, with seven sixes and seven fours, while wickets fell around him. He was eventually run out after taking the Challengers to within seven runs of victory with 10 balls remaining.
Earlier, Andre Russell’s quick-fire 41 off 17 balls to lift his team to 177 for six.
Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir put on 53 in the powerplay and had 77 runs on the board at the halfway stage. But then they became ogged down and lost two wickets in two balls in the 17th over to lose momentum at at 131 for four. Russell stepped up to give the total some respectability.
McCullum back to his best for Chennai
A blistering unbeaten ton from Brendon McCullum and an even more destructive fifty off 28 balls from MS Dhoni set up Chennai Super Kings for a comfortable 45-run win over the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
It made for an easy night for Faf du Plessis, who was not called on to bat, with Kings ending on 209-4.
McCullum, refreshed from his powerful exploits in the World Cup, went to 100 on the dot with nine sixes and seven fours off 56 balls; his second IPL century. Together, the two put on 63 off 5.5 overs, of which 40 came from Dhoni, who slammed three sixes off legspinner Karn Sharma.
Hyderabad could only respond with 164-6 despite 53 off 42 balls with a four and three sixes from David Warner.
McCullum and Dwayne Smith set up a solid platform with a stand of 75 for the first wicket off 8.1 overs. Smith ended with 27 off 26 balls with four fours and a six before being run out with a direct hit from Trent Boult.
Suresh Raina and McCullum than added 60 for the second wicket off 5.2 overs with Raina contributing just 14 before being run out.