Chris Gayle provided the early fireworks as Royal Challengers Bangalore extended their win streak to seven matches with a tight win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in a rain-curtailed match here.
Chasing a revised target of 102 in a match reduced to 13-overs a side after a long rain break, Gayle made his intentions clear from the first ball, guiding a Brett Lee delivery down to the third man boundary. The Jamaican then proceeded to hit three more boundaries in the Australian pacer's opening over.
In the second over, by Jaidev Unadkat, Gayle hit two boundaries and two sixes. The first six was a mishit that still had enough on it while the second one was all about brute power.
He struck another four off Lee in the next over but the pacer finally got his man. Such is Gayle’s strength that even mishits go over the boundary, but on this occasion the ball flew skywards before a composed Jacques Kallis completed a tough catch. Gayle was gone for a 12-ball 38, but his assault erased any doubts over the result of the match.
RCB did let it go down to the final over of the match, losing four more wickets, before AB de Villiers hit the winning runs.
The Knight Riders could only muster 89/4 in their allotted 13 overs. The Knight Riders lost their first wicket in the third over. Eoin Morgan tried one innovative shot too many. Shuffling across, he was only able to guide a Zaheer delivery to Pomersbach at square-leg.
Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir soon followed him. Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan had to then rebuild the KKR innings.