For the Bangalore side, newbie Sidharth Arvind was the wrecker-in-chief followed by Chris Gayle who it appeared had channelised all his brutality while batting into his bowling. The Carribean marauder snapped up three wicket for just 21 runs from his allotted quota of four overs.
Chasing a target of 205, Punjab suffered a huge blow in the first over as captain Adam Gilchrist was run-out while attempting to steal a non-existent single. And from then on Punjab never really looked like chasing down the target. The extent to which Bangalore stifled out Punjab can be gauged from the fact that by the end of the 10th over they had their seven batsmen back in the pavilion for only 67 runs. In the end they could manage only 120 with Ryan McLaren top-scoring with 28 runs.
The highlight of the match, in which almost all other batsmen from either side failed, was a hurrican knock of 49-ball 107 by Chris Gayle.
Left out of the national squad, Gayle it seems to appear was on an mission to let the West Indies selectors realise their mistake. A 49 ball 107, laced with nine sixes and 10 hits to the fence is the sort of brutality that we do not see very often, even in a high class tournament as the IPL. But as they say, when Gayle get going, everything else seems to be possible.
For most part of his innings Gayle targeted the straight boundary to do the bulk of his scoring and depended heavily on his power to send the balls soaring into the orbit. Punjab bowlers can't be blamed for the mammoth total that Bangalore managed to amass, as they more or less kept the other batsmen on the leash. And that is where the value of Gayle can be evaluated. Such was the dominance of Gayle that the second highest score in the Bangalore innings was 27, made by Virat Kohli and A B de Villiers each.
Dilshan failed, yet again and so did Sourabh Tiwary. Even Virat Kohli appeared a bit rusty. While Gayle scored 109 from 49 balls, the other seven who came out to bat could accumulate only 98 runs between them from the 71 balls they faced.
For Punjab, Ryan Harris led the recovery after cathcing Gayle of Piyush Chawla. He was brought back in to the attack after the 15th over and got rid of Tiwary, Asad Pathan and Mohammed Kaif in quick succession to jolt Bangalore's aspiration for a higher total. Apart from him, Piyush Chawka ended with some degree of respect intact while the other bowlers in Punjab rank must have been left pondering as to what hit them
The way Bangalore had started, particularly Gayle, it seemed 230 was very much possible. By the time Gayle departed Bangalore were sitting pretty at 154/2 in 14.4 overs. Harris' late strike revived Punjab hopes and they even managed to restrict the Royal Challengers to 205.