The dreaded former Australian opening pair of Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist seems to have developed a strong liking to the Royal Challengers’ attack.
While it was Hayden smashing them to all parts of the ground on Monday, his ex-partner Gilchrist meted out the same treatment at Cape Town on Wednesday, powering his Deccan Chargers to a matchwinning 184.
Despite attacking innings from Rahul Dravid (48 off 27) and Virat Kohli (50 off 32), the Chargers had enough in the tank to take them through to make it two in two.
Gilchrist took the attack to the Bangalore bowlers, unleashing his trademark ferocious cuts and pulls right from the start.
Praveen Kumar and Dale Steyn looked clueless as the Australian hit them all over the park. So brazen was the assault that Pietersen literally had to run from mid-off to convince his bowlers to stick to their guns.
These frequent sprints stopped only when he threw the ball to Anil Kumble, who was spot on from the first ball.
The pressure Kumble applied resulted in Laxman falling to Jesse Ryder in the next over. But before the Royal Challengers could really peg the Chargers back, Gilchrist decided to take on Kumble as well, swinging him for a six.
The left-hander looked to be headed for the three-figure mark when Pietersen struck a body blow to the Chargers, luring Gilchrist into a rasping drive straight into the hands of Virat Kohli at cover.
There was, however, little respite for the Royal Challengers.
Rohit Sharma, who had been enjoying the mayhem from the other end, came into his own after Gilchrist departed. The youngster smashed Kumble for three sixes in an over, providing a clear indication of his talent.
He dealt mainly in sixes, smashing five in his half- century that lifted Chargers to a challenging 184. In the end this proved too big a target for the Bangalore team.