Saturday, May 14, 2011

How to solve a problem like Gayle? - threat looms for Knights

BANGALORE: How to solve a problem like Gayle? Well, captains of opposing teams might well be singing this old number and its sounds wouldn’t be music to their ears. Eden Gardens witnessed a Gayle force transform into a Gayle storm in a dramatic change of ‘playing weather’ conditions.
The lanky, long-haired Chris Gayle, playing in his first IPL IV match, breezed through his innings to wreck havoc on the Kolkata Knight Riders and lead Royal challengers to en emphatic victory.
Gayle had struck an unbeaten 102 off a mere 55 balls with 10 fiery fours and seven soaring, searing sixers.
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle acknowledges on reaching his fifty runs during an IPL cricket match. (AP Photo)
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle acknowledges on reaching
his fifty runs during an IPL cricket match. (AP Photo)
A stiff target of 171 for victory was achieved with ridiculous ease.The lanky West Indian has been on fire and no attack has managed to keep him quiet and no opponent has been able to defeat the Bangalore side since his arrival. After that century against Knight Riders, Gayle has had scores of 26 (Delhi), 49 (Pune), 107 (Punjab), 44 (Kochi) and 70 (Rajasthan) with the Challengers more than living up to their name.
The Kolkata, also doing appreciably well under skipper Gautam Gambhir, also have their tails up. Gambhir’s confidence levels too must have zoomed on an upward graph after being appointed as the Indian team’s skipper for the ODI series against the West Indies. Gambhir had led the team in their 5-0 victory over New Zealand last year. The selectors are believed to have been impressed by his leadership qualities.
Gambhir’s biggest challenge now will be to devise ways to conquer the rampaging Gayle, his India teammate and stand-in skipper Virat Kohli who has also been doing wonderfully well in Gayle’s company and the fleet-footed AB de Villiers.
Challengers have built their challenge around the knocks of these three in the main this season and, more importantly, to victorious effect.
Both teams are almost through to the play-offs as the teams in contention have little chance of overhauling their points tally. As such, the pressure to perform will be much less and make for a free-flowing contest. Something the likes of Gayle would enjoy immensely.
The Kolkata team’s big hitter Yusuf Pathan is yet to explode, troubled as he has been by injuries. Should he celebrate his inclusion for the Windies tour with a big one.
An even contest with some more lusty hitting is in the offing, should the weather Gods decide not to enter the fray in this match which gets underway at 4.00 p.m.
Challengers have 15 points from 11 games while Kolkata has 14 from 11 outings and occupy the third and fourth spots respectively.


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