Sun, Apr 22, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Gayle, De Villiers rescue Bangalore against Punjab

AP, MOHALI, INDIA

Chris Gayle and A.B. de Villiers extended their fine form as the Royal Challengers Bangalore beat the Kings XI Punjab by five wickets in the Indian Premier League on Friday.

Gayle struck 87 off 56 balls, with four sixes and eight fours, while De Villiers made 52 off 39 balls, with eight fours, as Bangalore scored 166-5 in 19.3 overs after having restricted Punjab to 163-6.

Gayle scored 81 and De Villiers made an unbeaten 33 against the Pune Warriors in Bangalore’s game on Tuesday, and the pair came to the team’s rescue once again with a decisive 131-run stand for the fourth wicket.

“The ball came on to the bat nicely and I only wanted to keep my cool,” Gayle said.

“A.B. came on and played wonderfully. It was a good win and we are now looking forward to our next game against Rajasthan Royals,” he added.

Pace bowler Parvinder Awana had earlier claimed three wickets to reduce Bangalore to 25-3 by the sixth over. He finished with 4-34.

Punjab stand-in captain David Hussey produced a solid 41 off 34 balls, while former Pakistan player Azhar Mahmood came up with 33 not out off 14 balls.

Hussey, who led the side because regular captain Adam Gilchrist had a stiff hamstring, held together the middle order and hit three fours before he was bowled by seam bowler Harshal Patel.

Mahmood, who played his first game for Punjab after struggling with visa problems, smashed two sixes and three fours and was particularly severe on India pace bowler Vinay Kumar, hitting him for 18 runs off six balls.

Hussey and Mahmood made up for a sluggish start, after pace bowlers Zaheer Khan and Andrew McDonald took two wickets each to restrict Punjab to 94-4 in the first 14 overs.

Bangalore has won three out of six games, while Punjab remains on two wins from six games.

The Delhi Daredevils is at the top of the table with four wins from five games.

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