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ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the first Champions League Twenty20 semi-final between Royal Challengers Bangalore and New South Wales
Siddarth Ravindran at the Chinnaswamy Stadium
October 7, 2011
The biggest six
During the warm-up session before the match, Chris Gayle and David Warner had a chat, joking around as Warner tested Gayle's bat. They might well have struck a wager over who would hit the biggest six in the game. Gayle warmed up by matching Warner's feat of hitting the roof by mauling Moises Henriques over midwicket in the 11th over of the chase. Then, in the 14th over, came the main event, as Gayle launched a mammoth hit off Pat Cummins, a brutal straight shot that sailed out of the stadium and was recorded as a 112-metre six, the longest of the tournament.
Another highlight of Warner's Chennai century was a series of jaw-dropping switch-hits, through which he made 22 off six deliveries. This time the shot didn't make as frequent an appearance, but when it did, it was just as effective. Medium-pacer Raju Bhatkal was the bowler to be punished, as Warner powered the ball over midwicket (what would have been extra cover) with the assurance of a natural right-hand batsman.
Gayle is used to whipping bowlers around the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Today, though, he was at the receiving end after being brought on to bowl in the eighth over. Having already been hit for four by Daniel Smith, Gayle bowled to Warner with two deliveries left in the over. He floated one full, Warner got down on one knee and unleashed a slog sweep for six. The high point of Warner's innings in Chennai was a straight six that sailed out of the ground. He couldn't replicate that today, muscling the ball only as far as the roof of the stadium. It was the only over Gayle would bowl.
The cheeky shot
Tillakaratne Dilshan had a fidgety start to his innings. He was dropped at point off his second ball, got a leading edge towards the bowler on the third, and missed an attempted swipe on the fourth. That left one more delivery in the first over. Watchfully defend so you will get time to compose yourself? Not what Dilshan did. His response was an audacious scoop over the keeper's head for four.
Just three of Warner's 123 runs came behind point. Daniel Smith made more use of that region though. In the 12th over, Daniel Smith backed away and dabbed an S Aravind delivery fine of short third man and towards the New South Wales dugout for four. 'Placement!' was the message on the giant screen. Two balls later, Smith picked up another boundary, this time to the right of short third man and towards the Royal Challengers Bangalore dugout.
After 11 overs of the chase, Gayle and Virat Kohli has powered Royal Challengers to a strong position, but NSW still weren't out of it. They would have evened up the game if they had gobbled up the chance Kohli provided them in the 12th over. When on 44, he cracked Steven Smith towards the sweeper cover boundary, straight to the hands of Patrick Cummins, who shelled a simple catch, and Kohli stayed on to guide Royal Challengers to victory.
There weren't too many deliveries bowled in the blockhole in the entire match. Cummins greeted Saurabh Tiwary with the perfect yorker, though, in the 14th over. Coming round the wicket, he fired in a delivery that zeroed in on the base of middle wicket. It was far too good for Tiwary, who picked up a golden duck.
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