It was as if the old times were back when Kohli and Gayle used play as the best opening pair in IPL. In their latest fixture, the Royal Challenger batsmen proved once for all that they are still the best. On the slow Rajkot pitch, Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle knocked a 122-run partnership stretched to 13 overs. It was a comeback of Gayle from a hiatus, where he was through the slowest of his strike rates and scores.
After 17 IPL innings without even a fifty, the Caribbean giant thumped the first 10,000 score of IPL in a classy style. Chris Gayle smashed 77 off 38 balls, including seven monstrous sixes. As disclosed in the after-match interview, he really “wanted it so badly.” Meanwhile, Kohli played as a graded cricketer taking time to adjust, but remaining on the crease until the 16th over striking at the rate of 128. The captain scored 64 off 50.
Travis Head and Kedar Jadhav played substantial innings. In fact, it was these players who hauled RCB to a 200 plus score, as the season’s highest total so far. Head played 16 balls to knock 30 runs batting with both Kohli and Jadhav. While, Jadhav unleased a 16 ball 38 playing the last couple of overs. The unbeaten partnership of 54 runs between the players was imperative for the winning score of 213, as Gujarat Lions too were not that weedy on their chase.
Brendon McCullum unleased a 44-ball-72 hammering 7 sixes. It was only the lack of partnership coming out from inconsistencies of rest of the team, which made them face the defeat by 21 runs. McCullum hauled the chase near 150 batting until the 15th over. The wicket of Dwayne Smith in the second over and the slow start became a major dig for Gujarat Lions in chasing the huge score. The team kept on losing wickets with the players trying to keep up the momentum alive to control the required run rate.
Before 10 overs, the Lions scored more than 100 runs with McCullum steering the chase. After the player was dismissed, the inning was still alive with Ravindra Jadeja and Ishan Kisan. The latter struck 39 off 16 balls, hauling the chase to 191. There were only two balls left while 23 runs were required to win after Kisan was faltered. It was too late for the team to add up the winning scores.
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