New Delhi, May 17: Chris Gayle's brilliant 62-ball 128 not out piloted Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 21-run victory over Delhi Daredevils in Game 67 of IPL 5 here at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Thursday night.
[Scorecard: DD VsRCB]
Faced with a mountain of runs to climb, Delhi batsmen never gave up. After the early loss of David Warner, the hosts were kept in the hunt by Ross Taylor (26-ball 55). But the target just seemed out of reach even after a cameo from Andre Russell (15-ball 31). Delhi came close to finish with 194/9 in 20 overs.
The win has kept RCB's play-off chances alive. Now, they have to win their last league game against Deccan Chargers to ensure a top-four finish. RCB are fifth with 17 points. Delhi stop atop the standings with 20 points.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Innings Report
Chris Gayle's hurricane hundred (62-ball 128 not out) powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to a mammoth 215/1 in 20 overs against Delhi Daredevils here on Thursday night.
The explosive opener from Jamaican was at his best, yet again. This was his third century in IPL history and became the first batsman to achieve this feat. Adam Gilchrist and David Warner have scored two tons each in this Twenty20 league.
Gayle's innings had 13 sixes, matching the IPL record of Brendon McCullum. The New Zealander had smashed this record of sixes against RCB in the inaugural match of IPL in 2008 at the Bangalore's M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Gayle also hit seven fours with a whopping strike rate of 206.45. Gayle and Kohli's second wicket unbroken partnership was 204 runs off 17.4 overs at a run rate of 11.54. RCB's 215/1 today is the highest team score this season. Kohli was 73 not out off 53 balls with nine fours and a six.
When Gayle gets going, no ground is big enough. The Feroz Shah Kotla looked too small for the big bat of Gayle. Delhi bowlers were pulverised by the tall Jamaican.
Gayle's 100 came off 53 balls. His fireworks did not end there. His six-hitting spree continued even after completing his three-figure score. Captain Virat Kohli also made an useful contribution in Gayle's company. He hit a half century and had the best place to watch Gayle's extraordinary exhibition of batting.
Gayle and Kohli association set new records in Delhi. Their partnership is the highest in IPL 5 so far. It is also the best for RCB for any wicket in IPL history.
Delhi Daredevils stand-in captain Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and chose to field first against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Game 67 of IPL 5 here at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Thursday night.
"Virender Sehwag is sick, has got fever," said Jayawardene. Delhi have rested Morne Morkel and Andre Russell returns. Young right-hand batsman Unmukt Chand, 19, gets his first chance in IPL.
KP Appanna is out for RCB and Prasanth Parameswaran is in. Again, Virat Kohli is leading Bangalore. They are in a must-win situation.
Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), David Warner, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Naman Ojha (wicketkeeper), Venugopal Rao, Pawan Negi, Varun Aaron, Ross Taylor, Unmukt Chand, Andre Russell.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prasanth Parameswaran, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chris Gayle, Zaheer Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan, Harshal Patel, Saurabh Tiwary, R Vinay Kumar.
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and SS Shamsuddin (India)
Third Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)