Ross Taylor put on a masterclass of big hitting, scoring 81* to help the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a six-wicket victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders at Centurion.
With Bangalore needing 21 off the last 12 deliveries, Taylor smacked three sixes in the next five balls to effectively end the contest. The New Zealander got his runs in 33 balls, including seven fours and five sixes.
Kolkata have capitulated regularly throughout the tournament, but this has to be the most spectacular of the lot after they posted a very competitive 173.
Taylor’s national captain Brendon McCullum was the fulcrum around which Kolkata’s innings rotated, scoring a watchful (by T20 standards) 84* off 64 balls. Newcomer David Hussey cracked a valuable 43.
Bangalore got off to a steady start in pursuit of the target, openers Jacques Kallis and Jesse Ryder sharing a 58-run partnership before the former was dismissed for 32, caught brilliantly by McCullum at short cover. Ryder fell in the next over for 22 and Robin Uthappa followed soon thereafter.
With four overs to go Kolkata were in control with Bangalore needing 52 runs. Taylor played with freedom but was also aided by some wayward bowling, particularly from Ishant Sharma.
Taylor peppered the leg side boundary boards, regularly shuffling across his crease or clearing his left leg to give himself space to hit to mid-wicket.
His excellent innings keeps Bangalore in the race for a play-off place, while Kolkata slump to their 10th defeat in 11 matches.
Kolkata 173/4 - Brendon McCullum 84*, David Hussey 43.
Bangalore 176/4 - Ross Taylor 81*, Jacques Kallis 32.
Bangalore win by six wickets