New Delhi: Gayle reckoned that his team was under pressure to deliver their best in the must-win game against table-toppers Delhi Daredevils. And the Jamaican once again became the wrecker-in-chief with an unbeaten 128 runs from 62 balls that demolished the Daredevils on their home turf.
Gayle along with Virat Kohli (73 from 53) shared an unbeaten 204-run partnership for the second wicket as Bangalore posted a mammoth total of 215 runs. The only wicket they lost was of Dilshan who perished in the third over, but from there on, it was the Gayle storm and Kohli’s elegant strokes which made a mockery of the Delhi bowling attack.
It was a stiff chase for the Delhi Daredevils who came to the field without their regular skipper Virender Sehwag, who missed the match due to fever. Delhi also rested their in-form bowler Morne Morkel and Gayle along with Kohli made the most of it.
On two occasions, Gayle scored three consecutive sixes and there was a stage when the Delhi bowlers had given up to his lusty blows and his ability to clear the rope at will.
It was always going to be a stiff chase for Delhi but they made sure that they put up a fight in front of the home crowd. David Warner began his innings in style as he scored two consecutive boundaries off Dilshan’s first over and also smashed Zaheer Khan for a six over extra-cover. But the Australian lost control of his bat the very next ball and perished. Unmukt Chand was impressive during his short stay at the crease but the youngster couldn’t cope up with the pressure of scoring consistent boundaries
Venugopal Rao (36 from 24) played some good strokes before he was dismissed by Muralitharan. The Sri Lankan was hit for several boundaries and sixes by Ross Taylor who rose to the occasion just on time. Virat Kohli had put three fielders for him on the leg-side, but Taylor managed to clear the ropes and find gaps on several occasions.
Towards the end, it was all left to Andre Russell who played a small cameo (31 from 15 balls), but with no support from the other end, in spite of his best efforts, Delhi fell short of the mammoth total by 21 runs.
Even though the Daredevils had nothing to lose in the match having already booked their berth to the playoffs, the result would boost the confidence of Bangalore who need to win their next game in order to reach to the top four.
During his blistering knock, Gayle became the only player in IPL history to have three tons by his name. He was very honest after his knock as he conceded that his innings came under pressure and the team had a lot to talk about regarding their own performance in the last couple of days.