Fast bowler Umesh Yadav picked up three wickets while another three fell to run-outs as Kings XI were shot out for a paltry 88 in 15.1 overs in Indore.
The Royal Challengers were not troubled one bit during the chase as captain Virat Kohli (48 not out) and fellow opener Parthiv Patel (40 not out) secured victory in 8.1 overs as the entire match took less than 24 of the designated 40 overs.
UMESH TOO GOOD
Royal Challenger’s India pacer Umesh has been simply sensational this year. He had earlier talked about following the advice of bowling coach Ashish Nehra and concentrating on bowling quick and straight.
That strategy was put to great use by the India quick. He first drew an edge from opener Chris Gayle in the very first over, only for wicketkeeper Parthiv to drop the chance.
However, Umesh had his tail up. He went on the attack and peppered the Punjab batsmen with short-pitched deliveries. He first banged one into the pitch as KL Rahul mistimed the ball to Colin de Grandhomme at square leg. Then in the same fifth over, he bowled another short ball close to Gayle, who tried to send the ball outside the ground but could only sky it to Mohammad Siraj at square leg.
Yadav picked a third wicket – that of tailender Andrew Tye – through a short ball that caught the edge behind for figures of 3-23 from his four overs.
PUNJAB DIG THEIR OWN GRAVE
Kings XI had lost six wickets for 78 runs inside 12 overs. Some calm heads were needed at the time to milk the singles and take the total close to 120. However, as it tends to happen in such situations, running between the wickets becomes a casualty.
Punjab lost three of their lower order wickets to run-outs, starting with skipper Ravi Ashwin who went for a suicidal single on the first ball he faced from Moeen Ali.
The run-out of Mohit Sharma was even more incredulous. The batsman worked Moeen towards long on and despite the magnificent AB de Villiers giving chase, Mohit went for a single. De Villiers recovered in time to collect the ball and throw it to the bowler’s end where Mohit was found short.
ALL OVER INSIDE 10
A target of 89 was never going to trouble Bangalore, even if they lost a couple of early wickets. However, given the docile nature of the wicket and the absence of spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman in the Punjab, it never materialised as Bangalore raced to a 10-wicket win.
Captain Kohli remained unbeaten on 48 and keeper Parthiv on 40 on the same ground that produced more than 450 runs in the previous game between Punjab and Kolkata.
BANGALORE MARCH ON
The win keeps the Royal Challengers in contention for a spot in the play-offs. It was a match Kohli’s team simply had to win and they now have five wins from 12 matches.
Punjab, however, are not out of it as yet but shockingly poor effort from their batsmen on a belter of a wicket in Indore will be cause for concern, especially since it has come at a crucial juncture of the tournament.
Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl first. There was a big blow for the hosts ahead of the toss with Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman unable to recover in time after injuring his bowling hand in the last match. He has been replaced by Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.
Batting first, Punjab lost openers Chris Gayle and KL Rahul to Bangalore quick Umesh Yadav and never recovered from those blows as they were shot out for 88. In reply, Bangalore coasted to a 10-wicket win in 8.1 overs.
Follow the latest ball-by-ball action from this crunch IPL clash below.
Following their 118-run partnership, RCB skipper Kohli took to Twitter to praise the South African stalwart.
“Have always loved batting with this guy. Makes things simpler for the person at the other end. Today was yet another special partnership. Glad to finish on a winning note,” the India skipper wrote on Twitter.
Have always loved batting with this guy. Makes things simpler for the person at the other end. Today was yet another special partnership. Glad to finish on a winning note. #DDvRCB #IPL2018 @ABdeVilliers17 pic.twitter.com/rY71VVbbAB— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) May 12, 2018
The Proteas ace returned the compliment in his column for the Times of India.
“After the loss of two early wickets, Virat Kohli and I found ourselves batting together, something we both enjoy,” De Villiers wrote.
“I battled at first, struggling to find my timing; it has been hard to regain my rhythm after falling ill and missing a couple of matches, but it was great to see Virat driving the ball for six over extra cover and then whipping another maximum over mid-wicket.
“He is so skillful and determined, a force of nature at the crease and, ball by ball, he helped me get back into the game until I could start to make a contribution, playing my part as we reached our target with an over to spare.”