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NationNews Barbados: Gayle shines with 53 on IPL return

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Virat Kohli India

The South African played a magnificent innings of 55 (off 22 balls; 4x1, 6x6) and in the end, nearly single-handedly powered RCB to a thrilling win.

When de Villiers walked in, RCB needed 76 off just 41 balls.

Chasing 178, De Villiers smashed six sixes to help RCB win the game after all seemed lost for them following the dismissal of Kohli (43) in the 14th over.

Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal stitched a 79-run partnership for the second wicket but consumed too many deliveries in doing so, failing to keep pace with the required run rate.

Rajasthan would have felt confident when Padikkal and Kohli were dismissed from successive balls spanning the end of the 13th over and start of the 14th, with Tewatia involved in both dismissals.

The ball travelled at a great speed but Tewatia, coming off a wicket in his previous ball, balanced himself after almost falling over the line to complete a fine catch. Kohli had whipped the ball but Tewatia stopped the ball, leaped over the boundary and then hoped back inside to complete a thrilling catch. "It's a cat and mouse game", de Villiers said. He then went on to finish the game with a six off Jofra Archer.

Morris gave RCB their first breakthrough when he had the subdued Stokes caught down the leg side. The duo engaged in a solid 50-run opening stand.

Leg-spinner Chahal dismissed Sanju Samson (9) next ball - revenge for Samson creaming him for a monster 94-metre six over midwicket earlier in the over - to leave Rajasthan 69-3 after eight overs.

Chahal, RCB's most dependent bowler finished with wonderful figures of as he tightened the spinners tightened the screws around Rajasthan in the middle overs.

On the lookout for quick runs, Smith found an ally in Jos Buttler and the two added 55 runs while steadying the ship. Last three balls, one run.

The Royals' challenge was underpinned by Steve Smith's 57 off 36 deliveries.

AB de Villiers was awarded the man of the match for his rapid-fire knock.

Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals continue to remain at the top of the points table having registered six wins so far in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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