Royal Challengers v NSW, 1st semi-final, CLT20, Bangalore
RCB Crush NSW, Reached into CLT20 Final08-Oct-2011 03:05:00 GMT
Bangalore: Step back Chris Gayle, David Warner and company, for Virat Kohli, the lone player retained by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, is here.
A large number of fours and sixes, Gayle produced eight and eight, while Warner had 6 boundaries and an incredible 11 sixes, are part and parcel of the T20 game but rarely do you get see a masterclass even as mayhem rules.
Kohli's truly astonishing unbeaten 84 (49b, 10x4, 3x6) certainly was one, the quality of his shots almost surreal in a high pressure game as the semifinal, and it carried the night for RCB and put them into their first ever CLT20 final.
Spare a thought though for Warner, who made a second successive century, an unbeaten one at that as New South Wales Blues, unsurprisingly asked to bat first by Daniel Vettori, made 203 for two from their 20 overs.
But Warner's 123 (68b) and his 87-ball 146-run stand with the portly Daniel Smith, who looks very unlike a modern cricketer, but packs quite a punch to go with a paunch, was made to look pedestrian by RCB's own second wicket pair of Gayle (92, 41b) and Kohli, whose 141-run association came off a mere 66 balls and ensured that the win came with as many as nine balls to spare.
Spare a thought for the bowlers in either side too, none of whom stood a chance against all the mad hitting that went on right through the game.
For the near-full-house that had gathered at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, it was a crazy night. Silent for a major part of the first innings, they came into their own when Gayle and Kohli got going.
Ahead of the asking rate of 10.2 for most part of the chase, RCB did stumble at one stage, with 18-year-old Patrick Cummins, after being hit for the biggest six of the night by Gayle, the ball sailing over the roof at the northern stand, grabbing wickets off successive balls, first to dismiss Gayle and then Saurabh Tiwary.
He followed that up by conceding a mere three runs and another wicket (Mayank Agarwal) in his final over, but the night was to be Kohli's and his calm presence ensured the win.
Had he been taken when on 44 by the same Cummins, who knows the victory lap at the end of the game might have been undertaken by a different team.
New South Wales 203 for 2 (Warner 123*, D Smith 62)
Royal Challengers Bangalore 204 for 4 (Gayle 92, Kolhi 84*, Cummins 4-45)
Results Royal Challengers Bangalore won by six wickets
MOM Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)