Explosive Gayle powers KXIP to victory
MOHALI, India, (CMC):
A typically explosive half-century from Chris Gayle topped an equally brutal innings from Mahendra Singh Dhoni to pave the way for a four-run victory for King's XI Punjab over Chennai Super Kings in a tense finish to their Indian Premier League match yesterday.
Gayle, the talismanic West Indies opener, smashed seven fours and four sixes in 63 from just 33 balls to anchor RCB to 197 for seven from their 20 overs in the 10th match of the tournament at the IS Bindra Stadium.
CSK looked in trouble on 56 for three in the seventh over before Dhoni arrived and cracked six fours and five sixes in 79 from 44 balls to lead his side to the brink of victory.
A steady final over from Mohit Sharma denied CSK the victory, after they required 17 from the final six deliveries of the match.
After Dwayne Bravo got a single from the first ball, Sharma delivered three dot balls in between a wide, a square drive for four from the third ball, and a straight six off the last ball of the match for Dhoni.
The former Indian captain shared successive stands of 57 for the fourth wicket with Ambati Rayudu and 50 for the fifth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja to get CSK back on course before launching a final charge in an unbroken partnership of 30 with Bravo.
Earlier, Gayle shared 96 for the first wicket with India international KL Rahul, before he was caught at short fine leg off former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson in the 12th over to leave RCB 127 for two.
None of the remaining RCB batsmen could match Gayle's dynamic hitting and they raised just 68 from the final eight overs - but it proved just enough.