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Gayle powers KXIP to a 173-4 against RCB

Press Trust of India  |  Mohali 

Swashbuckling opener missed a well-deserved century by a whisker, smashing an unbeaten 99 off 64 balls to power to a 173 for four against in an IPL match here Saturday.

The 39-year-old West Indian, who had suffered a back after last match, carried his bat, recording his highest score of this IPL season blasting five sixes and as many as 10 hits to the fence to single-handedly anchor the innings.

Invited to bat, Gayle stitched a 66-run opening stand off 38 balls with KL (18) and kept the scoreboard ticking even though he lost partners on the other end at regular intervals.

RCB could have dismissed Gayle in the first over itself when he was hit on the leg by but Kohli didn't go for a DRS and the West Indian escaped.

Gayle made RCB pay for the mistake as he hit a four and six off Umesh's next over, before smashing for a boundary.

joined the party, sending Umesh for a couple of fours.

In the sixth over, Gayle exploded as he welcomed with a four at long off and followed it up with a six over long-on and another boundary across cover.

He then pulled another one over square leg before sending the ball across the fine leg as KXIP amassed 24 runs to end the powerplay at 60 for no loss.

Yuzvendra Chahal was then introduced into the attack and lifted him over long-on for a maximum but the spinner had him stumped in the next delivery to produce a crucial breakthrough.

Back in the team after missing the last match due to a finger injury, then joined Gayle, who completed his fifty in 28 balls.

Agarwal smashed Chahal over extra cover for a six but the spinner once again returned to remove the batsman in the next delivery by cleaning him up with a super delivery.

(15) and Gayle then took across the 100-mark before the former was caught behind off Siraj's delivery.

(1) too couldn't stay longer and was removed by Moeen Ali as Punjab slipped to 114 for four in 14th over.

Mandeep Singh (18) then gave company to Gayle as the duo provided the late charge, scoring 60 off 37 balls.

In the 17th over, Gayle sent Siraj to the stand at deep mid-wicket region, before clobbering Umesh for a four and a six in the first and last ball of the 19th over even as Kohli dropped him at long off in the fourth ball.

Needing 10 runs in the last over to complete his century, short by just one despite hitting the last ball for another four.

Spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal (2/33) and Moeen Ali (1/19) and pacer (23/0) were the pick of the bowlers, while and bleded 42 and 54 runs respectively to hurt RCB.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 13 2019. 22:10 IST