Royal Challengers v Somerset, CLT20 2011, Bangalore October 3, 2011

Gayle leads RCB to massive win


Royal Challengers Bangalore 206 for 6 (Gayle 86) beat Somerset 155 for 6 (Trego 58, Arvind 2-23, Vettori 2-25) by 51 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chris Gayle played the sort of innings only he can to give Royal Challengers Bangalore the sort of win they desperately needed to keep their Champions League Twenty20 campaign alive. Gayle's assault ensured the margin of victory - 51 runs - was the largest of the tournament, and not only did it earn the Royal Challengers their first points but also dragged their previously negative net run-rate ahead of that of three other teams in Group B.

The Royal Challengers now need only to win their remaining game, against South Australia, by a reasonable margin to make the semi-finals. Despite the severity of today's defeat, though, Somerset also need only to win their last group game against Warriors to progress.

After defeats in their first two matches, the Royal Challengers were the only team without points, and Daniel Vettori lost the toss on a ground where teams prefer to chase. The trace of dismay in Vettori when Alfonso Thomas asked the Royal Challengers to bat, however, had disappeared long before they finished with the tournament's highest total - 206. It would have disappeared when Gayle was hitting eight of RCB's 14 sixes, on his way to 86 off 46 balls.

Somerset had their chances early in the match - two of them were difficult - to prevent this suffering but they didn't take them. Gayle was dropped in the second over, two balls after he had hit his first four to get off the mark. He miscued a loft off Steve Kirby over extra cover but Jos Buttler couldn't run back quickly enough. In Kirby's next over - the fourth off the innings - Gayle survived two run-out attempts off the same ball, both at the same end. He was on 8 at the time.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Gayle's opening partner, was also let off. He initiated the acceleration by scooping Peter Trego over short fine leg, but when he tried to repeat it next ball, he didn't connect as well. Kirby, who had to run back from the circle, dived and pushed the ball towards the boundary. Dilshan then charged to blaze through cover, the third consecutive four, and also slogged over the long-on boundary to take 19 off the third over.

Gayle had thumped the ball to the boundary every now and then but his start was relatively sedate: only 29 came off his first 25 balls. By that time, Roelof van der Merwe had bowled Dilshan round his legs and Virat Kohli had begun striking the ball splendidly on a true pitch and a quick outfield. Kohli lofted Murali Kartik's left-arm spin for a four through extra cover and a six over long-off to take Bangalore to 87 for 1 after 10 overs.

A few minutes later, Gayle had teleported to 53 off 31 balls, bringing up his half-century with a leg glance off Trego to the boundary. He plundered George Dockrell's left-arm spin to get there, launching three sixes in the 11th over, over midwicket, long-on and the sightscreen. He celebrated his fifty by sending Trego over the sightscreen and dismissed Kartik over midwicket and square leg as well. Gayle moved to 86 as early as the 17th over with another six over long-on off Trego and a century seemed imminent. It wasn't to be, though, for Thomas induced a top edge off a pull that was held by Arul Suppiah at deep midwicket.

Useful contributions from Mayank Agarwal and Arun Karthik - who replaced Mohammad Kaif for this match and hit a six in the final over - took the Royal Challengers past 200.

Even though Somerset were faced with the most daunting chase of the competition, Trego was not about to give up. He had been hit for 50 runs in three overs and he wanted to return the punishment. Trego and Craig Kieswetter gave the innings a powerful start, adding 42 in 4.1 overs before Kieswetter was dismissed. He had charged to attack Vettori and edged to the wicketkeeper Karthik.

van der Merwe entered and dispatched his second ball, from Vettori, into the stands at midwicket. The third, he skied straight up in the air and Karthik held his second catch.

Somerset were not done yet though. Trego took charge of the chase and in the tenth over, bowled by Gayle, he ransacked 22 out of 24 runs, hitting two sixes and two fours. Somerset went past 100 in that over, earlier than the Royal Challengers had. Trego went past 50, by cutting Vettori for four, off his 31st delivery, just as quick as Gayle.

Trego, however, had little support from his team-mates and, as wickets fell at one end, the asking-rate soared to 16 by the end of the 15th over. When it touched 19 for the first time, Trego lashed at Raju Bhatkal and skied a catch to Vettori at mid-off. Somerset's chase was over.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    If the WICB feels that they are spiting Gayle by not selecting him then let them think again. His eanings potential has incereased again after this performance -. IPL , Australian BIG Bash and English T20. But then again because of the composition and leadership of the WICB their thinking is small minded and of -a "small island" mentality.

  • Simon on October 4, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    Yeah Jos will take that game hard I'm sure, but for someone who has saved (or at least tried to save) our bacon so many times, we can't expect him to be some kind of superman for us. Though giving the strike to a batsman whose flying was a basic lesson I hope he's learned now. We never like to do things easy, and this sets up Wednesday's match nicely. I'm struggling to see what Suppiah brings to the team over the other players. He rarely gets runs, and his bowling is always last change bowl him if we have to (unless on a prepared pitch at Glamorgan). Max always takes wickets with all his sliders/googlies, Gregory is a real fast strike bowler, Barrow and Jones look far too promising bats to leave out. Compton is clearly a more robust/spirited/versatile/talented batsman. RMDV bowls slow lefties. And Suppiah will never score as many 4 day / 1 day runs as Hildreth has and will. He's simply not a bat we can rely on in 1 day cricket.

  • Nick on October 4, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    @Dg Griff - he's not a hurricane, he's just a Gayle.

  • John on October 4, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    I wonder whether Jos Buttler still had that dropped catch on his mind when he went out to bat. It would be hard not to and he really looked out of sorts. Everyone drops a catch some time or another and, while I didn't see it, I understand it wasn't simple. Boy oh boy, was that an expensive one though. I hope Jos shakes that game off quickly because Somerset are going to need him to fire if they are to advance. As an England fan, you'd also like to see him score some runs on Indian pitches ahead of hopefully another appearance in the upcoming T20I. All up though, it's good to see unpredictable results because it means that anyone can win any game on any given day.

  • sudhakar on October 4, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    KKR can still qualify if RCB vs South Australia match gets wash out..

  • Francis on October 4, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    Hush... Everytime I hear those words in private talks, people Hush immediatly.

    Did you hear them too? Rumors say that just the rich people know all about it. Just do a G00GLE search for "BlueGoldHunty" all one word and click the first site that comes up.

  • Prakash on October 4, 2011, 2:47 GMT

    Drop Gayle and suffer. Somerset knows it and West Indies should also knowing it. Gayles' power hitting is a treat to the eyes

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2011, 1:50 GMT

    gayle is the best............

  • Dummy4 on October 4, 2011, 0:10 GMT


  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    there's no stopping Hurricane Chris!

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