CLT20: RCB beat Somerset by 51 runs
Bangalore: Riding on Chris Gayle's blitzkrieg, the Royal Challengers Bangalore demolished Somerset by 51 runs to keep themselves in contention for a semi-final berth in the Champions League Twenty20.
RCB's passage into the semis will depend on if Warriors (4 pts in 3 games) can beat Somerset (3 from 3 games) and beat South Australia Redbacks by a handsome margin.
Chasing a target of 207, Peter Trego made a 38-ball-58 as Somerset gave a spirited chase but once the Bangalore bowlers cleaned up the top order, the English side were never really in the hunt.
Trego smashed six boundaries and three sixes and added 61 off only 38 balls with James Hildreth (15) for the third- wicket stand. The right-hander was merciless against Gayle, creaming 24 runs in an over with two sixes and two fours.
When openers Trego and Craig Kieswtter (26) raised early hopes of a spectacular chase, Bangalore skipper Daniel Vettori chipped in with timely breakthroughs, claiming couple of wickets in an over.
KB Arun Karthik, making his CLT20 debut was impressive behind the wickets. Vettori forced an outside edge of Kieswetter to wicketkeeper Karthik and a top edge of Roelof van der Merve saw the keeper gobbling up the ball as Somerset were reduced to 48 for two.
Karthik was at it again to pocket James Hildreth (15) off a short ball from pacer Dirk Nannes.
Left-arm seamer Sreenath Arvind took two wickets for while Rajoo Bhatkal claimed one.
Earlier, put into bat, RCB ran up a powerful 206 for six, the highest total in the CLT20 this season. Gayle, who was in an aggressive mood, smashed eight sixes and four boundaries during his 46-ball 86. Thanks to his pyrotechnics, RCB belted a CLT20 high 14 sixes in an innings.
After a dismal outing for most part of the tournament, Gayle let his bat do the talking, that had had the English bowlers scurrying for cover. He was particularly severe against George Dockrell who conceded 21 runs in an over, including three towering sixes.
Trego was also treated with utter disdain, the towering Jamaican taking 19 runs in the medium pacer's first over. Trego conceded as many as 50 runs in three overs.
Gayle had failed to get going in the first two games, but this time round the Jamaican was at his imperious best, hitting the ball all over the park. Gayle, dropped by Joss Butler off Steven Kirby at 4, capitalised the reprieve.
After losing his opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan (23), Gayle joined hands with consistent Virat Kohli (33) as the second wicket pair stitched a belligerent 70 off 40 balls.
Saurabh Tiwary scored 18 runs while adding 49 runs for the third wicket in Gayle's company. In the latter part of the innings, Mayank Agarwal made a 8-ball 19, including two sixes.
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