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You are here: Cricket CLT20 Gayle goes berserk as Royal Challengers thump Somerset by 51 runs

Gayle goes berserk as Royal Challengers thump Somerset by 51 runs

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rcb_celebrateThe Royal Challengers Bangalore dished out Somerset's first defeat of the tournament as Chris Gayle's 46 ball 86 blasted the Men in Red to a comprehensive victory by a margin of 51 runs. Somerset who dropped both Dilshan and Gayle early on paid the penalty as the Royal Challengers became the first team to breach the 200 run barrier this season. Later in the evening, the Sabres batsmen were suffocated by the Royal Challengers' bowling led brilliantly by skipper Dan Vettori. Somerset could muster only 155 runs in reply as none of their batsmen kicked on and made a big score with the exception of Peter Trego.

The battered and bruised Royal Challengers Bangalore, who started the day at the bottom of the heap were up against the cunning and unbeaten Somerset Sabres in a vital Group-B encounter at the M.Chinnaswamy stadium amidst dreary weather conditions. While, Somerset were looking to cement their spot in the last four with a victory, RCB were in desperate need of massive wins in their remaining two games of to keep their semi-finals hopes alive. Unfortunately, Somerset's previous mission was washed out at the same venue a couple of days ago. The return of England international stars - Craig Kieswetter and Jos Butler had reinforced Somerset's batting. RCB were asked to bat first by Somerset skipper Alfonso Thomas on a sporting wicket with a bit of moisture around. The Royal Challengers made one change for this game with Arun Karthick coming in for Mohammad Kaif.

Skipper Alfonso Thomas began proceedings for the Sabres and teased Lankan skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan with his probing line. Chris Gayle, who greeted Kirby with an attacking four over extra-cover, was dropped by Jos Butler in the 2nd over. The rub of the green went RCB's way as even Dilshan was spilled and the Lankan prospered by plundering 3 fours and a biggie in the same over. His trademark 'Dil-scoop' strokes were delicious. Former RCB man, van der Merwe pulled things back for the visitors by uprooting Dilshan for better than a run-a-ball 23. Bangalore were 51-1 at the conclusion of an eventful powerplay.

The Bangalore batsmen feasted on the beautiful batting track and continued scoring at an impressive clip. The left arm spin duo of George Dockrell and Murali Kartik were put to the sword as the as the Virat Kohli - Gayle partnership raced to 50 in no time. The dashing Kohli, danced down the track and lofted Kartik over wide long off boundary to pick up his only six of the evening in the 10th over. At the other end, Gayle unleashed his brutal power on the Irish tweaker to smash 3 maximums.

Steve Kirby, the Somerset veteran, returned in the 12th over to break the partnership by disturbing Kohli's timber. It kept raining sixes as Chris 'Unstoppable' Gayle stormed to an entertaining half-century off just 31 deliveries. With wickets in hand and Gayle in full flow a mammoth total was on the cards for Bangalore. RCB were 155-2 in 15 overs.

Steve Kirby, the pick of Somerset's bowlers undid Sourabh Tiwary in the 16th over by means of a well-camouflaged slower ball. The young Mayank Aggarwal got into the act with 2 sparkling sixes, while Chris Gayle continued to make merry from the other end. Alfonso Thomas, then conjured up a double-strike as Aggarwal's cameo and Gayle's honeymoon came to an end. Gayle fell 14 short of a well-deserved ton. Soon Vettori joined him and just 5 runs were scored off the penultimate over of the innings. 13 runs off the 20th over helped Bangalore post an intimidating total of 206 on a fine batting track.

Somerset got off to a brisk beginning as Dirk Nannes again came a cropper and sprayed the new ball around to leak runs. England T20 regular Craig Kieswetter and Peter Trego kept the run-rate flowing with a flurry of aggressive shots. Kieswetter's soaring six off Nannes in the 3rd over was a thing of beauty. Daniel Vettori, then struck twice in his first over. Kieswetter was out for a 19-ball 26. Roelof van der Merwe, who has proved to be a jack in the box with the bat succomed to the guile of Vettori immediately after hitting his fellow left-arm spinner for a six .Somerset made 54 in the powerplay for the loss of 2 wickets.

James Hildreth earned a life in the 7th over as Raju Bhatkal floored a relatively simple catch in the deep. Hildreth cashed in by manufacturing a six straight back down the ground. The track's love affair with batting blossomed and 206 seemed chasable. Chris Gayle got a taste of his own medicine in his 1st over as Trego whipped Gayle for 2 half-a-dozens and 2 fours.

Vettori drafted Nannes back into the attack, and the fast bowler responded by removing Hildereth. The in-form Trego meanwhile counter-punched his way to a brilliant fifty as the game was going down the wire. Finally, Nannes rediscovered form and he finished his quota with figures of 1-27. Aravind, quickly sent back the talented Butler for 4 to apply immense pressure on the Sabres. Somerset reached 127-4 in 15 overs as the asking rate scaled to dizzying heights.

Vettori bowled an excellent 16th over to give away only 4 runs. The crafty spinner, who was in the thick of things accepted a smart catch the next over to dismiss Peter Trego off Bhatkal for a wonderfully compiled 58 at a strike rate of 152. Aravind, who had received an international call up dismissed the Malaysian Suppiah to put RCB firmly in the driving seat. 69 from 12 balls proved to be an impossible task. The Bangalore boys restricted the Sabres to 155-6 which meant that RCB clinched the game in emphatic style.

This convincing win has boosted RCB's net run rate to +0.43 to give them an outside chance of making it to the final four. RCB, who take on the Redbacks on Wednesday in a must win game, will have to rely on other results going their way to ignite their chances of a semi-final berth. Somerset  whose hopes have taken a hammering after a wash-out and an embarrassing loss will have to fertilize their game when they square off against the table topping Warriors on Wednesday. Somerset will have to win their final game to progress to the semis.

Teams:

Somerset: C.Kieswetter, J.Butler, P.Trego, J.Hildreth, R.van der Merwe, N.Compton, A.Suppiah, L.Gregory, A.Thomas(captain), G.Dockrell, M.Kartik.

RCB: C.Gayle, T.Dilshan, V.Kohli, S.Tiwary, M.Aggarwal, A.Karthik, D.Vettori(captain), R.Bhatkal, S.Mohammad, S.Aravind,  D.Nannes.

Mini-Scorecard:

RCB: 206-6(20 overs, 10.30 rpo)
C.Gayle 86(46) S.Kirby 2-23
V.Kohli  33(22)  A.Thomas 2-33

Somerset: 155-6(20 overs, 7.75 rpo)
P.Trego 58(38) S.Aravind 2-23
C.Kieswetter 26(19) D.Vettori 2-25

RCB won by 51 runs.