Openers Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan cracked half-centuries as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat the Pune Warriors by 35 runs in the Indian Premier League on Friday.
Gayle smashed 57 off 31 balls and Dilshan hit 53 off 44 as Bangalore posted a challenging 173-3 after being put in to bat at Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. The hosts managed 138-9 with Robin Uthappa (38) and Anustup Majumdar (31) providing a brief challenge.
Gayle dominated the 80-run opening stand with Dilshan, bludgeoning four sixes in an over from pace bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.
He smashed six sixes and three fours in all, reaching his half-century off only 24 deliveries and by the sixth over of the innings.
The Jamaican, who was the highest scorer in last year’s IPL and also leads the current season with 572 runs, was out trying to pull a delivery from Sri Lankan seamer Angelo Mathews straight down the ground, but was caught at long-on.
Dilshan hit a six and six fours before he was run out for backing up too far when a straight drive from Saurabh Tiwary was fielded by seamer Alfonso Thomas in his run-up, the bowler running back to whip off the bails.
Tiwary made 36 not out from 30 balls, but prolific South African batsman A.B. de Villiers did not get to bat much and remained 9 not out off four deliveries.
Pune, without captain Sourav Ganguly after he decided to rest, failed to make a match of it once pace bowler Zaheer Khan removed opener Monish Mishra (4) and No. 3 batsman Manish Pandey (0).
From 4-2, Pune slipped further to 22-3 as Australia Test captain Michael Clarke (13) also failed when opening. Uthappa, Majumdar and stand-in captain Steven Smith (24 not out) held the innings together, but wickets fell regularly at the other end.
The win lifted Bangalore into third place in the nine-team league with seven wins, five losses and one no-result.
Pune are already out of reckoning for a place in the playoffs with four wins and 10 losses.