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IPL Match 5: Gayle-storm hits Kolkata, RCB squeeze 3 wicket win

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The one-man West Indian wrecking crew known as Chris Gayle hit the Eden Gardens with some incredible force today to help the Royal Challengers Bangalore stun the defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets in an entertaining contest.

Kolkata lost the toss and were put in to bat by RCB, but it didn't really seem to affect their strokeplay as Gautam Gambhir (58) and Robin Uthappa (35) added 81 runs for the opening wicket at better than 7 an over. Gambhir made his second half-century on the bounce, and Kolkata ended with a very competitive total of 177-6 from their 20 overs with Andre Russell providing a late flourish hammering 41 from just 17 balls after KKR had briefly lost their way in the middle of their innings.

The fun though was just beginning as Chris Gayle walked out to open the batting for RCB in the company of skipper Virat Kohli. Kohli fell caught behind to Morne Morkel for a sedate 13, and when Yusuf Pathan struck twice in the 8th over to leave RCB 56-3, the home side were in a spot of bother.

Gayle found some momentary company in South African skipper AB de Villiers, who smashed 28 off 13 balls before being stumped off mystery spinner KC Cariappa, who had an eventful IPL debut.

Darren Sammy (7) and Sean Abbott (1) came and went, leaving Gayle with all the work to do towards the fag end of the innings, and the veteran power hitter responded to the challenge by taking the bowling apart in the second half of his innings. After making his half century off 37-balls, Gayle exploded, racing to 96 from 56 deliveries with the help of 7 sixes and an equal number of fours before he was run out in the penultimate over.

Harshal Patel and Abu Nechim though showed good composure to see their side over the line with an over to spare, and thus bring Kolkata's incredible winning run in the IPL to a searing halt.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to make it two from two when they take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bangalore on Monday. KKR meanwhile will look to bounce back from this defeat when they take on the Kings XI Punjab next Saturday in Pune.

Teams:

Kolkata Knight Riders: RV Uthappa (wk), G Gambhir (c), M Pandey, SA Yadav, Y Pathan, S Al Hasan, A Russell, P Chawla, S Narine, K Cariappa, M Morkel

Royal Challengers Bangalore: C Gayle, M Singh, V Kohli (c), D Karthik (wk), AB de Villiers, D Sammy, H Patel, Y Chahal, S Abbott, V Aaron, A Nechim

Mini Scorecard:

Kolkata Knight Riders 177/6 (20 overs, 8.85rpo)

G Gambhir 58 (46) Y Chahal 1-28 (4)

A Russell 41* (17) A Ahmed 1-28 (4)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 179/7 (19 overs, 9.42rpo)

C Gayle 96 (56) Y Pathan 2-40 (4)

AB de Villiers 28 (13) S Al Hasan 1-17 (2)

Royal Challengers Bangalore win by 3 wickets