Chris Gayle once again dictated terms to the opposition bowlers, scoring a unbeaten 82 off just 59 deliveries to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore to a nine-wicket win over Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium last night.
Victory lifted Bangalore from seventh place to fourth in the Indian Premier League table, behind Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians, last night's losers.
Gayle blasted six sixes - including the 500th six of the tournament - and five boundaries to chase down the 142-run target set by the hosts and take the Orange Cap for being the competition's highest run-scorer so far.
Virat Kohli, the stand-in captain, provided ample support to Gayle by scoring a 25-ball 36 in an unbroken 94-run partnership for the second wicket with the former West Indies captain.
Tillakaratne Dilshan, Gayle's opening partner, scored 19 before being trapped in front of the wicket off the bowling of Pragyan Ojha, the left-arm spinner.
Gayle, who was named man of the match, said part of their game plan was to bat through paceman Lasith Malinga's overs, which they did. "We knew we had to see off Malinga. We were expecting two overs up front from him but he bowled three," he said.
Kohli was thrilled with the win especially because it was away. "To beat them at home is a good feeling for us," he said.
However, Bangalore's chase was made easier by their bowlers who did a commendable job by limiting the Mumbai batsmen to just 141 for six after the hosts were put in to bat.
Zaheer Khan (0-16) and Vinay Kumar (2-34), the Indian seamers, gave away just 50 runs from eight overs before Muttiah Muralitharan, the retired Sri Lankan spin wizard, took two for 24 - easily the pick of the bowlers.
Dinesh Karthik, the Indian wicketkeeper, was top-scorer hitting 44. Sachin Tendulkar (24) and Ambati Rayudu (22), Kieron Pollard (21) and Harbhajan Singh (20) chipped in but none of them were crucially able to increase the run-rate.
* The National staff with agency