Millennium Post

Gayle, Dilshan help RCB post 173/3

Half-centuries from Chris Gayle (57) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (53) helped Royal Challengers to a challenging 173 for three against Pune Warriors in their rain-affected Indian Premier League match, here today.

Regular Pune skipper Sourav Ganguly 'rested' himself in the match and new skipper Steven Smith invited Bangalore to bat at the swanky Sahara Subrata Roy Sahara stadium.

However, Gayle and Dilshan laid a very strong platform for a big score and their good start was capitalised later on by Saurabh Tiwary (36 not out off 30).

Pune though would be happy with the target since at one stage they were staring a 200-plus score when Gayle was in full flow.

Sri Lankan paceman Angelo Mathews was the most economical and successful bowler as he gave away just 14 runs in his three overs also dismissed destructive Gayle.

The visitors had a fiery start, yet again thanks to Gayle's pyrotechnics with the bat. Gayle and Dilshan put on 80 runs for the first wicket in just 51 balls.

Gayle was his usual attacking self as he smashed six sixes, four in one over of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, to score the fastest fifty of the season in just 24 balls.

By the first six overs, RCB had reached 66 for no loss and Gayle's contribution was 50. Gayle had hit Pune's spinner Rahul Sharma for five sixes and today he took out Bhuvaneshwar for some severe punishment.

Mathews brought relief for the hosts when he had Gayle caught at long-on, where Manish Pandey took a simple catch.

Bangalore still maintained a good run-rate and were 88 for one at half-way stage.

Rahul Sharma then dismissed rival skipper Virat Kohli, who miscued one off the spinner and the leading edge flew to his counterpart Steven Smith at mid-off.

Run-rate suffered due to quick wickets and the next big over came only when Rahul was hit for 16 runs in the 14th over through a six and two fours by Dilshan and Saurabh Tiwary.

Dilshan, who faced 44 balls, kept the scoreboard ticking and in company of Tiwary put on 43 for the third wicket. A run out ended Dilshan's stay at the crease.
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