Rajkot, April 24: Gujarat Lions rode on a strong batting performance to defeat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by six wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.
Chasing a target of 181 runs, the Lions scored 182/4 in 19.3 overs. The result saw the Lions climb to the top of the table with eight points. The IPL debutants thus continued their superb start to their maiden season as they have now won four the five matches they have played so far. RCB are at the fifth spot with four points after two wins and three losses.
Openers Dwayne Smith (32) and Brendon McCullum gave Gujarat's chase a healthy start before the former holed out to long on. But Kane Richardson, who claimed Smith's wicket, could not celebrate for long a McCullum hit for two sixes and an equal number of boundaries in the last four balls of the over.
By the time Tabraiz Shamsi pulled off an excellent caught and bowled effort to send him back to the pavilion, McCullum had laid the foundation for a successful chase with a 24-ball 42 that included five hits to the fence and a couple of sixes. Dinesh Karthick then scored an unbeaten 50 off 39 balls to lead the Lions to victory.
Shamsi (1/21), Shane Watson (1/31), Yuzvendra Chahal (1/33) and Richardson (1/53) bagged a wicket each for RCB.
Earlier, Virat Kohli played a captain's knock, batting through the innings for an unbeaten century as RCB posted a competitive 180/2 in their 20 overs. Kohli remained unbeaten on 100 off 63 deliveries with 11 boundaries and a six.
RCB suffered an early setback when opener Shane Watson hit an easy skier for Ravindra Jadeja in the seocnd over off Dhawal Kulkarni's bowling. South African AB de Villiers looked promising, hitting two boundaries during his 16-ball 20 before falling to a poorly executed shot.
But Lokesh Rahul ensured a strong finish for the RCB innings with an unbeaten knock of 51 runs off 35 balls which contained four boundaries and three hits into the stands.
Leg-spinner Pravin Tambe (1/24) and pacer Dhawal Kulkarni (1/39) were the only standouts in a rather insipid performance by the RCB bowlers.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore: 180/2 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 100 n.o., Lokesh Rahul 51 n.o.) vs Gujarat Lions: 182/4 in 19.3 overs (Brendon McCullum 42, Dinesh karthick 50 n.o.; Tabraiz Shamsi 1/21). IANS