The costliest miss
Chris Gayle is the "Universe Boss"; he launches into the bowlers, he does not scamper for singles. In the second over of Royal Challengers Bangalore's innings, Virat Kohli dabbed Mohit Sharma into the covers and Gayle, surprisingly, responded to the call for a quick single. Sixteen balls later, just as the six-hitting carnage was starting, Kohli dabbed Kyle Abbott to backward point and set off. Gayle responded late, jogged forward, changed his mind, and left his captain stranded in the middle of the pitch. Axar Patel swooped on the ball, but failed to get the direct hit. He sunk to his knees with his hands on his head. Kohli was on ten then. There was a lot more pain in store for Axar, and Kings XI.
Kohli is a champion, Gayle is a champion
Gayle showed shades of his best during his 49 off 31 balls against Knight Riders on Monday night. Then, Kohli had sounded a warning that a fired-up Gayle was coming to Bangalore. He was at his best by the time the game got going on Wednesday, and Kohli was close at hand to witness - and celebrate - his feats. Kohli surged to his half-century off 28 balls, and Gayle reached the landmark in the same over when he swiped Axar over midwicket for a six. How did the pair mark the moment? With the 'champion' dance, of course. Gayle and Kohli pumped their hands out in front of their chests rapturously, even as the camera panned to a fan who had joined in the jig from the sidelines.
Abbott and Kings XI finally had a moment to celebrate when the fast bowler duped AB de Villiers into dragging a slower ball back onto his stumps for a duck. Instead, Abbott put his hand up in apology and patted his South Africa team-mate. Abbott later said that he felt sheepish after dismissing one of the batsmen the big crowd had wanted to watch. The gesture did not soften up de Villiers at all; he handed Abbott a duck himself when he caught him off Yuzvendra Chahal as Kings XI stumbled in their innings.
Once pigeon-holed as a long-format specialist, KL Rahul has expanded his limited-overs game significantly this season. He has slogged and even ramped bouncers off quick bowlers previously in this IPL. On Wednesday night, when Mohit Sharma speared in a full ball outside off at 141kmph, Rahul used the pace to his advantage. He bent low, reversed his hands, and opened the face of the bat at the last moment to scoop the ball over short third man for a one-bounce four. It was an apt ending to Royal Challengers' jaw-dropping innings.