A record double-century partnership between Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh powered Kings XI Punjab to a resounding 111-run victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) yesterday.
Gilchrist bludgeoned 106 off 55 deliveries and Marsh hammered an unbeaten 79 off 49 as Kings XI Punjab totalled 232 for two, the highest score this year in the IPL. The Australian left-handed pair added 206 in the second-wicket stand.
In reply, Bangalore were bowled out for 121 in 17 overs.
"It was a pretty important game for us," Gilchrist said. "You've always got to maintain trust in your mind that you will get runs."
Punjab remain in play-off contention with 14 points from 13 games, while Bangalore, the only team to be assured of a berth, top the standings with 17 from 13.
Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians each have 16 points from 12 matches.
Gilchrist smashed nine sixes, the most ever by a Punjab batsman in the IPL, and eight fours. The 39 year old dominated the bowling from early on, smashing Chris Gayle, the West Indies all-rounder, for two consecutive sixes and following up with three successive sixes off Charl Langeveldt, the South African swing bowler.
Gilchrist eventually fell to Langeveldt toward the end of the innings after completing his second IPL century earlier in the over.
Marsh had been content playing second fiddle early on but then came to the fore in style.
The 27 year old hammered 30 off an over from Johan van der Wath, the South African all-rounder, hitting the hapless seamer for three sixes and three fours. He finished with five sixes and seven fours as Punjab set Bangalore an average of 11.65 runs an over to win.
Bangalore caved in under the pressure, with Gayle falling to Ryan Harris without the star batsman scoring, Gilchrist taking a fine catch jumping high to his left.
Harris also dismissed Virat Kohli when the stand-in captain edged a delivery to the slips for a run-a-ball 11.
Saurabh Tiwary and Asad Pathan then fell in quick succession as Bangalore was reduced to 43 for four by the seventh over.
Piyush Chawla, the leg-spinner, ripped through the middle order to finish with the enviable figures of four for 17.