Bengaluru, May 6 (IANS): Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), riding high on a hurricane century by Chris Gayle, handed out a massive 138-run defeat to a spiritless and spineless Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League match and moved into the fourth spot with their fifth win in 10 outings here on Wednesday.
It was a hiding of sorts as RCB piled up 226 for three which left visiting skipper George Bailey ruing his decision to field after winning the toss, and under pressure, the visitors collapsed to 88 in 13.4 overs as pacemen Mitchell Starc (4 for 15) and Sreenath Aravind (4 for 24) sliced through the line-up. Gayle struck a brilliant 117 off 57 balls, with seven fours and 12 sixes.
For Kings XI Punjab, runners-up last season, but looking like ragtag team, it was their fifth consecutive defeat in 10 matches, leaving them at the bottom of the eight-team league with just four points with little hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.
RCB, with a massive total on the board, bowled well even as the Kings XI batsmen, barring Axar Patel (40 not out, 21b, 5×4, 2×6) showed little or no determination to even make a fight of it, much less win the game. The early dismissals of openers Manan Vohra (2) who replaced Virender Sehwag, and Murali Vijay (2), took the wind out of Kings XI sails.
It was a regular procession thereafter before Axar Patel used the long handle, but to little effect as wickets fell in a heap at the other end. RCB, thus, recorded their biggest IPL victory (in terms of runs), beating their previous best of 130-run win over Pune Warriors in 2013, at this very venue when Gayle smashed his highest T20 score of 175.
Earlier, it was all about Gayle and his 14th T20 century as he led a merciless onslaught on the Punjab bowlers who were made to look ordinary while the home batsmen rained 18 sixes and 14 boundaries on a balmy night when the rains stayed away.
The visiting attack had no answer to first Gayle, who was let off when on 27 with Bailey unable to get to a skier off Sandeep Sharma in the third over of the innings. The lapse proved costly as Gayle showcased his brute power as well as a fine sense of timing to gallop to his century.
Spearhead Mitchell Johnson, bowling at some speed, leaked 43 runs in his four overs while left-arm spinner Axar Patel went for 51. Only seamer Anureet Singh, though wicketless, looked the part, conceding just 25 runs in four overs.
Gayle and skipper Virat Kohli (32) laid the platform with a 119-run partnership for the first wicket in just 11.2 overs before the innovative de Villiers joined the Jamaican to heap more misery on Punjab bowlers. Along with de Villiers, Gayle, who completed 3,000 runs in IPL, added 72 runs before offering a tame return catch to Patel.
The South African then took over and though he lost Dinesh Karthik (8), picked up some easy runs in the company of young Sarfaraz Khan (11 not out) to ensure RCB a winning total.