IPL: Gayle strikes again, RCB beat PWI by 35 runs

Chris GaylePune: The ‘Gayle Storm’ struck Pune once again as the West Indies hurricane (57) combined well with his opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan (53) to take Royal Challengers Bangalore to a formidable total of 173 for three and later the visitors restricted the Warriors to 138 at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium here on Friday. Bangalore won by 35 runs.

Fast bowler Zaheer Khan struck twice at the start of the Warriors' chase while R. Vinay Kumar picked a three-wicket haul to help the team get their seventh win in 13 matches.

While it was a crucial match for RCB with regard to their chances of making the play-offs, Pune Warriors were playing for pride after being eliminated from the competition.

The home team controversially rested regular skipper Sourav Ganguly, giving the captaincy mantle to Australia's Steven Smith.

Set a difficult target, Warriors were off to a terrible start, losing Mohnish Mishra (4) and Manish Pandey (0) in the first over bowled by Zaheer.

Michael Clarke (13) opening the innings did not work as he fell cheaply to Vinay Kumar, making it 22 for three inside four overs.

Robin Uthappa (38), Anustup Majumdar (31) and Smith (24) were the batsmen that kept the innings going. But it was not enough to recover from a dreadful start.

Earlier, RCB raced to 66 without loss in the first six overs with Gayle doing the bulk of the damage.

Gayle once again initiated the onslaught against the bowlers while Dilshan played the waiting game.

The Jamaican, who hammered leggie Rahul Sharma for five consecutive sixes when the two teams met in Bangalore, hit medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar off four straight sixes in a row. Overall, Gayle's 31-ball blinder comprised half a dozen sixes and three fours.

He is the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 572 runs at an average of 57.20.

Dilshan started playing his shots once Gayle departed in the ninth over. His 44-ball effort saw six fours and a maximum. (IANS)