On Saturday night, Bangalore earned their most comprehensive victory of the tournament so far with a seven-wicket hammering of Rajasthan Royals at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Bangalore bowled out the Royals for 117, with Vinay Kumar and RP Singh picking three wickets each. The chase was anchored by Chris Gayle, whose 44-ball 49 consisted of just four boundaries and one six.
"It was a very unusual innings by Gayle," said NDTVs cricket expert Farokh Engineer. "I have never seen him block so many deliveries. He just wanted RCB to get across the line. Gayle played for the team and that is great to see."
"He's a scary mongrel, as we say in Australia," quipped Dean Jones. "He just belts the living day lights out of you. He is playing very smart cricket, nullifying any threat from the bowlers."
Bangalore have gone from strength to strength during this tournament. Wobbles against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai aside, RCB have won five out of seven games and sit atop the points table. With 322 runs in the tournament so far, Virat Kohli is the top scorer, and Vinay Kumar is the top wicket-taker with 12 scalps.
"Heading in to the tournament Bangalore were perceived to have a weak bowling attack. But Kumar, RP Singh and particularly Ravi Rampaul have really impressed us," said Jones.
"But listen, the teams are so close to each other in the table that, barring Delhi, any of them can make the semifinals. It's probably too early in the tournament for teams to look at the table," concluded Engineer.