Bangalore, May 2 (IANS) Undeterred by a cloudy sky and threat of rain, thousands thronged the Chinnaswamy stadium late Wednesday to root for home team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) against Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL-V) T20 here.
With the previous league match between the home team and two-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) washed out April 25, fans have been praying for a rain-free contest to make up for the loss last week.
"It's a great relief that the match started on time and the rain-bearing clouds are holding up still. Though RCB skipper (Daniel Vettori) lost the toss, we are delighted that Kings XI captain (David Hussey) opted to field first giving us a great opportunity to watch Chris Gayle explode," Ravi Subramanian, a sales executive, told IANS at the eastern stands.--**--
Gayle 'storm' hits fans as rain gods keep away
As is his wont, RCB's explosive opener Chris Gayle set the stands on fire again after a slow start. Though he took time to settle down and get his eye on the ball, there was no looking back once he opened up and started hitting freely despite tight bowling and excellent fielding by Kings XI.
Of the four sixes he hit in his 71 score of 42 balls, one over the long on was the longest in the IPL having soared 111 metres to touch the pavilion roof. Even as his every six electrified the stands, his six fours were a delight to watch as they cruised over the boundary with lightning speed.
The Jamaican southpaw accelerated the score after RCB squandered the first six overs of power play to put up a paltry 33 for loss of Mayank Agarwal for seven.
Virat Kohli joined Gayle to take the hosts out of woods with 119-run second wicket partnership in 83 balls.
Priety Zinta, Pankaj Advani, cheer girls delight fans
Presence of Bollywood heartthrob and Kings XI owner Priety Zinta, billiards champion Pankaj Advani and other celebrities in the pavilion and corporate boxes were star attractions in the flood-lit stadium on a breezy night. Drum-beating, sounding of bugle, waving of RCB flags and stunning dances by cheer girls for every six and a four hit by Gayle and Kohli or when their wickets fell in the slog overs was relished by about 25,000 fans across the stands.
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