Exhilarating batting displays by Virat Kohli (67 off 42 balls; 4x4, 4x6) and Chris Gayle (49 off 26 balls; 4x4, 4x6) powered the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 26-run win over the Pune Warriors India at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday.
Gayle and Kohli helped the Challengers to 181/5, a total that always looked beyond Pune’s reach, save for a brief spell when skipper Yuvraj Singh was clearing the boundary at will. However, as soon as the southpaw fell, Pune’s hopes went up in smoke as they succumbed to their fifth loss on the trot.
Chasing 182, the Warriors started cautiously. Jesse Ryder was scoring at a brisk pace but opening partner Tim Paine was all at sea against the all-left new-ball partnership of Zaheer Khan and S Aravind. The Australian played and missed on several occasions, before he was relieved of his misery by Aravind.
Ryder continued to play with positive intent, but Manish Pandey failed to keep the scoreboard ticking. In the 12th over, left-arm spinner Syed Mohammad got rid of the dangerous Kiwi for 51. Pandey departed soon after as he could only hit a Daniel Vettori delivery to long-off.
Yuvraj went for broke from the outset, as he had to with the asking rate on a steady upward curve from the first over.
He hit three sixes in his 23-ball 41 before he mis-hit a Zaheer delivery into the hands of Mohammad.