Chris Gayle produced a blistering 128 not out as the Royal Challengers Bangalore beat the Delhi Daredevils by 21 runs at Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium to remain in contention for the Indian Premier League playoffs on Thursday.
Gayle bludgeoned 13 sixes and seven fours off only 62 balls in an unbroken double-century stand with Virat Kohli (73) as Bangalore amassed 215-1. Delhi scored 194-9 in reply, with Ross Taylor producing a valiant 26-ball 55.
Gayle scored only one run off the first nine deliveries he faced, but launched a relentless attack that saw him strike three consecutive sixes off left-arm spinner Pawan Negi and also dispatch Irfan Pathan for three sixes in an over.
It was Gayle’s third IPL century and the second-highest IPL score after Brendon McCullum’s 158 not out for the Kolkata Knight Riders against Bangalore in the first match of the inaugural season in 2008.
Gayle and Kohli added 204 in what is the second-highest partnership in five seasons of the IPL and it came exactly one year after Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh established the record of 206 for Kings XI Punjab versus Bangalore.
Bangalore have eight wins, six losses and a no-result from 15 games. Delhi, who have already qualified for the playoffs, have 10 wins and five losses from 15.
In Dharamshala, Adam Gilchrist hit an unbeaten half-century to guide Kings XI Punjab to a six-wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings to also remain in contention.
The Punjab captain, returning to action after recovering from an abdomen injury, compiled an unbeaten 64 in a total of 123-4 in 16.3 overs.
The team’s seamers — Praveen Kumar, Parvinder Awana and Azhar Mahmood — had earlier taken two wickets each to restrict Chennai to 120-7 on a lively pitch at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.
Gilchrist, who also took four catches behind the stumps, struck two sixes and nine fours in 46 deliveries to see his team through with ease.
West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo fought a lone battle, hitting three sixes and two fours off 43 balls, before falling to Ryan Harris in the last over of the innings. Bravo also later took two wickets.
Punjab have eight wins and seven losses with one more match to go against the Delhi Daredevils.
Chennai have eight wins, seven losses and one no-result and they have no matches left. The team must wait for other results to decide their fate.