Bangalore finish on top of table
Royal Challengers Bangalore 129 for 2 (Gayle 75*) beat Chennai Super Kings 128 for 8 (Dhoni 70*, Vettori 2-15) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Chris Gayle indulged himself after his bowlers restricted Chennai Super Kings to a below-par 128 to ensure Royal Challengers Bangalore will finish top of the points table. The result also secured their berth in this year's Champions League.
Chennai were always facing inevitable defeat once their top order crumbled six overs into the game. Tottering at 22 for 4, MS Dhoni consolidated initially before looting quick runs in the end, but 128 wasn't going to test Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Especially with Gayle unleashing hell.
Gayle left his mark on the chase and it was violent. A six flew over third man, another disappeared over cow corner, a third, off Suresh Raina, landed in the upper tier of the long-on stands and a fierce straight drive rammed into Albie Morkel's shin. A limping Morkel continued bowling after receiving some treatment but Gayle promptly dispatched a short delivery over the deep midwicket boundary. But while Gayle thrilled the home crowd, it was the bowlers who won the game for Bangalore.
The first couple of overs set the tone: Zaheer Khan nearly yorked M Vijay and beat Michael Hussey with couple of outswingers, and S Aravind hit a nagging line and length to handcuff Chennai. The breakthrough came in the third over when Hussey dragged an away-going delivery on to his stumps. It was a sign of things to come. Vijay hung his bat out against Aravind, Suresh Raina top edged a pull off Zaheer and when S Badrinath lifted Daniel Vettori to long-off Chennai were wobbling at 22 for 4 from 5.4 overs.
It was left to Dhoni to play the lone ranger but every time he tried to switch to attacking mode, a wicket fell, forcing him to revert to caution. He added 26 runs with Wriddhiman Saha from 6.4 overs and Chennai reached 60 for 4 in 12 overs. Saha swung Gayle for a six over midwicket in the next over to suggest a possible change in the mindset but he fell, trying to repeat the shot off Virat Kohli in the 14th over.
Dhoni was on a run-a-ball 19 at that stage and soon swung Gayle for his second six to hint at a revival, but Dwayne Bravo was trapped by an arm-ball from Vettori, forcing Dhoni to slow down again. He went quiet for a couple of overs and it was only in the final over, bowled by Abhimanyu Mithun, that Dhoni really displayed his brand of violence. He pulled a six and a four before he smote one over the midwicket boundary to finish off in style. It was far from enough though.
Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo