Chris Gayle hammered a 41-ball 92 to power Royal Challengers Bangalore to a six-wicket victory over New South Wales Blues in the Twenty20 Champions League semi-final on Friday.
The left-handed opener smashed eight sixes and as many fours in a superb display of power-hitting while Virat Kohli made a brisk 84 not out as Bangalore achieved a challenging 204-run target with nine balls to spare.
The pair also upstaged New South Wales opener David Warner, who cracked an unbeaten 123 off 68 balls to become the first batsman to hit successive Twenty20 centuries.
Left-handed Warner, who scored an unbeaten 135 in his previous match against Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday, hit 11 sixes and six fours in his rapidfire knock.
But Gayle put Bangalore on course for victory with a 141-run stand for the second wicket off just 11 overs with Kohli, who hit three sixes and 10 fours in his 49-ball knock.
Seamer Pat Cummins was the most successful bowler with 4-45 off four overs.
Warner and Daniel Smith (62) earlier added 146 for the second wicket to help New South Wales cross the 200-mark after the early dismissal of opener Shane Watson.
Smith, who reached his half-century with a pulled six off seamer Raju Bhatkal, fell in the 18th over after hitting three sixes and seven fours in his 42-ball knock.
Sri Lanka’s part-time spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan was the most impressive bowler, conceding just 10 runs in four overs after opening the attack.
Bangalore will now clash with the winners of Saturday’s semi-final between English county Somerset and Mumbai Indians.
New South Wales Blues: 203 for two in 20 overs (David Warner 123 not out, Daniel Smith 62; Tillakaratne Dilshan 1/10)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 204 for four in 18.3 overs (Cheis Gayle 92, Virat Kohli 84 not out; Pat Cummins 4/45).(Agencies)