The Chris Gayle factor was always going to be critical in how the IPL 4 Qualifier 2 was going to pan out. And indeed Chris Gayle proved yet again to be Royal Challengers Bangalore and a thorn in the flesh for the Mumbai Indians who lost the match in Chennai to send RCB into the IPL 4 final against the Chennai Super Kings.
For any team that has run into delirious succcess since the introduction of Chris Gayle, every opposition that has run into Royal Challengers Bangalore has had to make plans for Gayle if they were to stand a realistic chance of winning. Likewise, the Chennai Super Kings are in the IPL 4 final is because they were able to contain Gayle early.
The same however could not be said of the Mumbai Indians against whom the terror by the name of Gayle unleashed once more and with telling effect. His partnership with Mayank Agarwal rattled the Mumbai Indians because 113 runs came in less than eleven overs.
Lasith Malinga did not quite make the impact in terms of picking those crucial wickets for Mumbai although he was the most economical bowler by far. But Gayle’s lusty hitting proved a nightmare even for the seasoned Harbhajan Singh, punishing the Mumbai Indians at will and letting Agarwal play his own game with forty-one runs from thirty-one balls, including two sixes. When Munaf Patel did strike, the damage had already been done with the destruction of the figures of the front line bowlers.
Gayle’s individual score of eighty-nine runs from only forty-seven balls, punctuated by nine boundaries and five sixes, was the single engaging factor that tilted the game heavily in the favour of the Royal Challengers Bangalore who will feel relieved for the second opportunity to play in the IPL 4 final.
Gayle has been prolific this season since he joined the RCB team and it has hurt the teams that have come up against them. The Mumbai Indians faced the tall order of scoring 186 runs in order to make it to the final against the IPL 3 winners, the Chennai Super Kings.
A lot rested on Sachin Tendulkar, the Mumbai Indians captain, in order to overhaul this tall order. And he did contribute with forty runs. But that was before Syed Mohammad produced a gem of a delivery that foxed the maestro resulting in his being stumped. Tendulkar was the third Mumbai Indians wickets to fall on the night, and it seemed Mumbai had lost grip on the match.
And they did. The Royal Challengers Bangalore kept up the pressure on the Mumbai Indians batsmen who caved in to the pressure. Sreenath Arvind was impressive once more with his two wickets while Daniel Vettori, the RCB captain, joined the party with three wickets as well as the Mumbai Indians’ slippery road landed them at six down for eighty-nine with the wicket of Kieron Pollard.
It was not before long that the Mumbai Indians had lost the match for the record, making only 142 runs in their twenty overs to hand the Royal Challengers Bangalore a forty-three run victory to force their way into the IPL 4 final for a southern affair.