Aravind and Gayle lead Bangalore's charge in IPL

The pacer Sreenath limits Rajasthan Royals after their good start while Gayle smacks unbeaten 70 in nine-wicket win as RCB go second on the table.

Charl Langeveldt, second from left, and Sreenath Aravind, centre, were among the wickets.
Powered by automated translation

Chris Gayle, the explosive opener, smacked an unbeaten 70 as Royal Challengers Bangalore thrashed Rajasthan Royals by nine wickets in the Indian Premier League to consolidate their play-off chances.

The West Indies batsman continued his fairy-tale run, clobbering six fours and four sixes in his 44-ball knock to help Bangalore overhaul a 147-run target with three overs to spare at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Gayle has played a huge role in reviving his team's fortunes ever since he was roped in as a replacement for the injured Dirk Nannes last month, guiding the franchise to their sixth win in a row.

With 398 runs in his kitty, the left-hander has now surged to second in the run-getters list with two centuries and one fifty.

"Chris is batting like a dream and he is just pulling games off for us every time," Virat Kohli, leading Bangalore in the absence of the injured Daniel Vettori, said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

The win moved Bangalore to second in the table, one point adrift of leaders Mumbai Indians (16) while Rajasthan slumped to their third consecutive defeat, denting their chances of advancing in the tournament.

Kohli, however, was not looking that far ahead yet. He said: "We are just playing one game at a time, taking some plans into the middle and hopefully we can execute them."

Shane Warne, the Rajasthan captain, playing his last home game in the tournament, was left to rue a dropped catch of Gayle when the batsman was on 13. The Australian spin legend is set to retire from all forms of the game after the end of the IPL.

Kohli chipped in with 39 not out and Tillakaratne Dilshan, Gayle's opening partner, made 38.

The hosts earlier frittered away a bright start given by openers Shane Watson (34) and Rahul Dravid (37) who put on 73 runs inside the first 10 overs before being dismissed in the space of three balls by Sreenath Aravind (3-34).

Aravind returned to send back in-form South African all-rounder Johan Botha who nicked the left-arm paceman to wicketkeeper Arun Karthik for a 20-ball 19 including just one boundary.

New Zealand's batting star Ross Taylor (13) too failed to fire, falling to a slower ball from Charl Langeveldt (1-26), the South African speedster, while attempting to clear the ropes.

* Compiled by The National staff with agencies