The pair sets a record stand in T20; Kings XI posts IPL-IV's highest
It took a long time coming. But when the much-awaited blazing knock did come off the bat of Adam Gilchrist, the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers must have felt exactly how several of their counterparts must have felt whenever Chris Gayle had his way.
It was as though Man-of-the-Match Gilchrist had reserved his whirlwind century for a big, must-win match like this one.
He unleashed an array of strokes and his record 206-run stand with Shaun Marsh ensured that Kings XI Punjab batted out the league table-topper and inflicted a crushing 111-run defeat.
On Tuesday, the ‘law of averages' was at work for both Gilchrist and Gayle. As Gilchrist finally got a big one, Gayle, finally, fell cheaply. Gilchrist reproduced the magic of old to raise Kings' tally to 232 for two, the highest in IPL-IV.
When the RCB openers came out to make a fight of it, the Kings bowlers just did not let them. Gayle, after facing seven dot balls, was gone without scoring in the second over and skipper Virat Kohli followed in the fourth.
The chase was well and truly off. For the second successive match, Piyush Chawla collected four wickets after the cream of the batting was back in the dug-out.
It was an evening when Kings' leading performers Gilchrist and Marsh held centrestage and reduced the entire cast of the challengers from Bangalore to minor roles.
The two left-handed Aussies kept Kings on the right track after coming together at 25 for one, once Paul Valthaty set the pace.
What followed was the highest partnership in T20 cricket, with Gilchrist falling to the penultimate delivery of the innings.
Marsh's unbeaten 79 was yet another testimony of his stroke-making abilities even on a day when it was a ‘Gilchrist Show' all the way.
If Gilchrist was at his brutal best, hitting nine sixes — including three in a row off Charl Langeveldt — and eight boundaries, Marsh made his presence felt with five sixes and seven boundaries. In an innings that saw 11 overs produce more than 10 runs an over, Marsh went after medium-pacer Johan van der Wath and hit 6, 6, 4, 4, 4, 6 in the 15th over.
Gilchrist produced one of the most savage knocks seen in the IPL.
Though the RCB attack was without Zaheer Khan on a ground with short boundaries, no credit should be taken away from Gilchrist's effort.
The Gilchrist-Marsh partnership really took shape from the seventh over after the PowerPlay had produced only 30 runs for Valthaty's wicket.
The next six overs raised the score to 125 and a total of 200-plus looked pretty much possible.
Gilchrist and Marsh kept hitting sensibly, finding the gaps and the ropes with amazing consistency as the RCB attack fell to pieces.
In the remainder of the innings, only the 13th and 17th overs, bowled by S. Aravind and A. Mithun, produced seven and eight runs to interrupt the sequence of big overs through the innings.
Such was the domination of the two left-handers on this day.
Kings XI Punjab:P. Valthaty c Tiwary b Langeveldt 20 (17b, 2x4, 1x6), A. Gilchrist c Gayle b Langeveldt 106 (55b, 8x4, 9x6), S. Marsh (not out) 79 (49b, 7x4, 5x6), D. Hussey (not out) 0 (1b); Extras (b-7, lb-14, w-4, nb-2): 27; Total (for two wkts. in 20 overs): 232.
Fall of wickets:1-25, 2-231.
Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling:van der Wath 4-0-50-0, Langeveldt 4-0-48-2, Gayle 4-0-35-0, Aravind 4-0-36-0, Mithun 3-0-29-0, Kohli 1-0-13-0.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:C. Gayle c Gilchrist b Harris 0 (7b), S. Tiwary c D. Hussey b Srivastava 6 (11b, 1x4), V. Kohli c Karthik b Harris 11 (11b, 2x4), A.B. de Villiers c Gilchrist b Chawla 34 (27b, 3x4, 1x6), Asad Pathan c D. Hussey b Valthaty 7 (4b), M. Kaif st. Gilchrist b Chawla 15 (11b, 3x4), K.B. Arun Karthik b Chawla 6 (6b, 1x4), J. van der Wath lbw b Chawla 4 (5b), A. Mithun c D. Hussey b Harris 10 (7b, 1x6), C. Langeveldt b Srivastava 8 (8b, 1x6), S. Aravind (not out) 11 (5b, 2x4) ; Extras (b-4, lb-1,w-4): 9; Total (in 17 overs): 121.
Fall of wickets:1-4, 2-17, 3-34, 4-43, 5-72, 6-88, 7-89, 8-95, 9-103.
Kings XI Punjab bowling:Praveen 3-1-11-0, Harris 3-0-28-3, Srivastava 3-0-30-2, Valthaty 4-0-30-1, Chawla 4-0-17-4.