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After KKR, DD in marauder Gayle's firing line

Published: Monday, April 25, 2011, 11:15 [IST]
 
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After KKR, DD in Gayle's firing line


Gayle, who remained unsold in the IPL 4 auctions earlier this year and came in the RCB team only as a replacement for injured pacer Dirk Nannes, made his return in grand fashion silencing his former team Kolkata Knight Riders with a thunderous ton.

In a spot of bother with one win, three consecutive losses and an abandoned match, the left-hander provided the much needed impetus to the Bangalore outfit, inspiring the team to a comprehensive nine-wicket win over the Knight Riders the other day.

Chasing a challenging 171 for five against Knight Riders, Gayle struck a whirlwind unbeaten 102 that came off just 55 balls to bring RCB back on the winning track.

And come tomorrow, the West Indian opener would be eyeing a repeat at a transformed Kotla pitch, which from a low, slow wicket has suddenly turned into a belter and witnessed a run riot in the last match it hosted between Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab.

In the points table too, RCB finds itself in a better position than Daredevils. With five points from six matches, the Daniel Vettori-led side is presently occupying the sixth position while Delhi is languishing at the second last spot with four points from five games.

With the likes of Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and Saurabh Tiwary in its rank, the RCB has got a power-packed batting line up, which can raise alarm bells in any opposition camp.

Gayle''s century aside, Dilshan (38 off 31) played a useful knock against Knight Riders but what he needs is consistency. De Villiers and Kohli are also in good form and if Tiwary can rediscover his touch, RCB would undoubtedly become the most formidable batting unit in this tournament.

However, with pace spearhead Zaheer Khan looking out of sorts, RCB''s bowling continues to remain the team''s weakest link. In the last two matches, astonishingly, Zaheer conceded more than 50 runs and has not yet shown his World Cup form so far. The loss of Nannes too has hurt the Bangalore outfit badly.

Captain Daniel Vettori has been RCB''s standout bowler and though domestic recruits Syed Mohammad and Sreenath Arvind performed reasonably well against KKR, the Bangalore team lacks a genuine wicket-taking bowler.

On the other hand, Delhi''s campaign so far in this tournament has been far from impressive. .

PTI

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