Gayle first ton keeps RCB in play-offs hunt

New Delhi: Chris Gayle blasted a whirlwind unbeaten 128, studded with incredible 13 sixes, as Royal Challengers Bangalore thumped Delhi Daredevils by 21 runs to keep their play-offs hopes alive in the Indian Premier League here on Thursday.

With his first hundred of the season, Gayle became the first batsman to score 700 or more runs in a single edition in the history of IPL as RCB scored a mammoth 215 for one after being invited to bat at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground.

The marauding West Indian surpassed Sachin Tendulkar`s 618 runs which the Mumbai Indians batsman had scored in 2009-10 while Gayle now has scored 706 runs this season.

With his skipper Virat Kohli (73 not out off 53 balls), Gayle rattled up an unconquered 204-run stand, second-highest partnership for any wicket in IPL, to set up the huge target.

Gayle`s 62-ball knock was also the second highest individual score by a batsman in the IPL history, second only to Brendon McCullum`s unbeaten 158, which the Kiwi had hit in the inaugural edition in 2008 for Kolkata Knight Riders.

With someone such as Virender Sehwag missing from the line-up, it was a daunting task for Delhi to chase down such a huge target and all they could manage was 194 for nine in their 20 overs.

Nevertheless, it was a spirited reply by Delhi with Ross Taylor top-scoring with his a 26-ball 55 and Y Venugopal Rao contributing 36 runs. Andre Russell (31 off 15) hit some lusty shots towards the end but it was too late for Delhi.

RCB pace colleagues Zaheer Khan (3/38), Prasanth Parameswaran (3/30) and R Vinay Kumar (2/35) shared eight wickets among them.

RCB are now fifth with 17 points and have their last match against Deccan Chargers on May 20. Chennai Super Kings` defeat at the hands of Kings XI Punjab earlier today helped Bangalore`s cause as the defending champions stayed on 17 points with no more their league engagements remaining.

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