Chris Gayle hammered 36 runs in an over in his 16-ball 44 to fire the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a nine-wicket win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala in their Indian Premier League match on Sunday.
The West Indies batsman put on 67 for the opening wicket off just 3.5 overs with Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan (52 not out off 31 balls) as Bangalore achieved a modest 126-run target with more than six overs to spare.
In Sunday’s other match, skipper Yuvraj Singh hit a 15-ball 35 as the Pune Warriors beat Kings XI Punjab by five wickets to post their third win in 10 games of the Twenty20 tournament.
Mumbai have already made sure of the semi-finals with 16 points. They are followed by Kolkata (14), Bangalore (13), Chennai (12), Rajasthan (11), Kochi (10), Delhi (8), Pune (6), Deccan (6) and Punjab (6).
Gayle, the only batsman to have made two IPL centuries, went on the rampage when he hit seamer Prasanth Parameswaran for four sixes and three fours in an over, including a no-ball.
His flourish ended in the next over when he was bowled by seamer Vinay Kumar, but not before putting his team on course for victory.
Dilshan also went for shots early in the innings, cracking one six and three fours in an over from off-spinner Ramesh Powar. He completed the win with an unfinished 61-run stand for the second wicket with Virat Kohli (27 not out).
New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori and paceman Sreenath Aravind earlier shared four wickets to restrict Kochi to a small total.
Kochi made a steady start when Australian Michael Klinger (24) and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum (22) added 43 for the opening wicket, before losing their way.
It was Bangalore’s sixth victory in 10 matches and Kochi’s sixth defeat in 11 games.
Pune, who bowled well to restrict Punjab to 119-8, won with more than two overs to spare in Mohali, with Yuvraj, opener Manish Pandey (28) and Robin Uthappa (22) the main scorers.
Shaun Marsh top-scored with 32 for Punjab, who suffered their sixth defeat in nine matches.