Royal Challengers Bangalore v Pune Warriors, Bangalore April 17, 2012

De Villiers, Gayle help Bangalore edge thriller

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Royal Challengers Bangalore 186 for 4 (Gayle 81, Tiwary 36*, de Villiers 33*) beat Pune Warriors 182 for 6 (Uthappa 69, Ryder 34, Samuels 34) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chris Gayle was going at around a run a ball against some tight bowling. Then he calmly decided to shift gears. The bowling ceased to matter; five consecutive sixes came against the bowler with one of the best economy-rates in the IPL, Rahul Sharma. Treating that Rahul over as an aberration, Pune Warriors responded with more tight bowling, with Ashish Nehra yorking Gayle. But AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary hit 24 off the final over, bowled by Nehra, to pull off an improbable win, Royal Challengers Bangalore's first in four games.

For more than three-quarters of the game, the Royal Challengers had played catch-up to the Warriors. After Robin Uthappa's 69 took the visitors to 182, they had kept the Royal Challengers, and Gayle, in check for 12 overs. Gayle and Virat Kohli, game-changers both, had crawled along in a partnership of 30 in 35 deliveries. The asking-rate had ballooned to over 13, with 111 needed from 50. It claimed Kohli, who found deep point as he tried to hit out.

Kohli's dismissal fired up Gayle, who was on 37 off 35 then. Rahul bowled short, he bowled full, he went around the stumps, he went wide of the crease, he went wide of Gayle. To no avail. Five consecutive sixes later, the asking-rate was down by more than a couple of runs.

Warriors were stunned but they recovered quickly. Ashok Dinda, battling a painful side strain, conceded just 12 in two overs, including seven off the penultimate one with Royal Challengers needing 28 from 12. In between, Nehra had, for once, found the perfect yorker to send Gayle back for 81 off 48.

De Villiers and Tiwary kept the Royal Challengers in the hunt, hitting a six each to take 16 off the 18th over bowled by Angelo Mathews. Dinda's final over, the19th, seemed to have left Royal Challengers too much to get in the 20th over - 21.

De Villiers scrambled outside off to play the scoop off the second delivery in the final over, arming it past the wicketkeeper for four. Nehra delivered a low full toss and a length ball next. De Villiers smoked one straight down the ground for six; the next one was scooped nervelessly for another six over fine leg. With three needed off the last ball, Tiwary swung a length ball over the long-on boundary even as the rain came pouring down. Marlon Samuels, who had gone for under three an over, had two overs left.

Somehow, the Royal Challengers' batsmen had delivered after their bowlers had once again conceded a substantial score. Uthappa did most of the scoring with a power-packed half-century at the top of the order with Jesse Ryder and Samuels chipping in with smaller contributions.

The opening partnership between Uthappa and Ryder was worth 63 in seven overs. By then, Uthappa was in complete control. He timed three consecutive reverse-sweeps off Dilshan, with two of them beating short third man. He was put down by KP Appanna at long-off, a tough diving chance off Vinay Kumar in the 12th over but departed in the next as he sliced Daniel Vettori to point. The Warriors went at the same rate of around nine an over after Uthappa's dismissal with Samuels smashing the spinners for a couple of sixes. As it turned out, though, even 13 an over wasn't enough to deny Gayle, De Villiers and Tiwary.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on April 19, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    First of all congrats to RCB for this stunning victory. It is apparent that RCB almost always win if Gayle plays to his potential, but I am of the opinion that RCB shld play as a team and not depend on his brilliance alone as it may become too much of a strain for Gayle and may start to under perform eventually. Virat seems to be playing under a strain and the bowlers are sadly lacking in discipline. Even the experienced Zak will find it a strain eventually if bowlers such as Arvind and Mithun play as they did last year (their wayward bowling cost RCB the final). Another aspect is that Murali shld not play if he is not 100% fit. A half fit Murali playing will hand over the game to the other side as he did at the final of the World Cup. Dilshan if selected shld curb his impetuousness and play first to get his eye in and then launch without being a burden to Gayle and co. Hope they get better bowlers for the next IPL in 2013. l

  • dummy4fb on April 19, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    @Abhishek Purohit ....... u got some stats wrong buddy... article is good but check for the errors next time.. gud luck.....

  • dummy4fb on April 18, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    Dilshan has not been playing much for RCB. Even his last IPL season was quite bad excluding two or three. Muralitharan should not have been dropped. Gayle played superbly. Because of him the match was very entertaining (except for pune supporters). Gayle just turns the game around. He should be taken in the West Indies team. West Indian Board is losing very badly and they are just too proud to admit that they need Gayle! Hopefully, just like the last season Gayle and Kohli will play well and take RCB to the final. But RCB should learn to play as a team not just ride their hopes on Gayle and put pressure on him. The bowlers should do well and everyone should field well. Then RCB will play as a team and will reach the finals like CSK does. CSK doesn't depend on one person. Different people fire in different matches and make them win. But this year CSK is playing quite badly and I hope they don't reach the finals. MI and RCB should be at the finals.

  • harshthakor on April 18, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    This match was a victory or the 20 over game and for I.P.l.It was like witnessing an unexpected climax to a Hollywood thriller.It has proved that now batsman are far more mentally prepared to chase down mammoth totals and blistering scoring rates.Batsman today are far more mentally prepared and technically organized to achieve targets at breathtaking scoring rates.In previous years we could hardly imagine sides achieving victories requiring to score at a run rate at over 15 runs per over.It proves the importance of innovation in batting as executed by Devilliers.Chris Gayle launched the greatest assault ever witnessed in I.P.L.in a single over.No game better illustrated that the ultimate victory is in the mind.

  • dummy4fb on April 18, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    What a thriller!!!!!!! Amazing match with the winner undecided till the final delivery of the match. The Article could have been better. The article does not bring the thrill intensity which was there. AB De Villers was truly astonishing. If Gayle can't get you, ABD will!!!!!!!! Yet another tactical error by Vettori. Dropping your best bowler Murali was foolish. RCB's problem has been bowling and if any one had to be dropped to bring in Dilshan, it should have been Vettori himself. And besides, what was the rationale of promoting S.Tiwary before ABD. Since Gayle was batting so well, sending ABD would have maintained the left-right combination too and ABD would have time to settle down. But, Thankfully S.Tiwary seems to have found his touch and hope he will justify his huge price tag. RCB should seriously consider dropping Vettori, bring in Murali and make Virat the skipper. RCB should also consider bringing Abhimanyu Mithun in place of KP Appanna.

  • PhaniBhaskar24 on April 18, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    Oh Boy, wt a match. Truly superb. Confidence of both the teams ( Esp. AB) is very high. Its just that someone have to lose & someone to win. These kind of matches make IPL more lively

  • eZoha on April 18, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    People should remember that last year's Pune team was actually stronger than the current one, mainly because of Yuvi in the playing eleven. But it's Sourav's captaincy which has brought the team together. Most members of this team are fringe players (except Mathews) and low in confidence. Credit should be given to the team and its captain for putting up such fights with last year's top 4 teams. nonetheless, Sourav should score some runs, at least to keep one distraction aside.

  • dummy4fb on April 18, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    only one man in RCB................. a big Jamaican left hander CHRIS GAYLE

  • Freddie.Dcosta on April 18, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    @Bishu_XI: I totally agree with you. Though the Warriors have lost the match, I am happy that it was such a good fight. In cricket every one, team and individual need a bit of luck to win. But what matters is that the Warriors fought and fought hard. Btw, Ganguly has not had luck with the bat yet, but he looks comfortable at the crease and doesn't hang around, he has got out while trying to up the ante or attempting to take a run. I am sure soon he will have his day...

  • passionate_cricket_follower on April 18, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    @Juniorklassy, ProdigyB, pai11: spot on! ganguly must be replaced by Tamim at the top. tamim is a very talented player, and is just warming bench. hope this decision be taken asap! as i said earlier, angelo matthews might take over as captain, with ganguly as a coach/mentor/12th man!

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