It proved seventh time lucky for Royal Challengers Bangalore as they held their nerve to beat Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets and record their first victory of their 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign.
Having tasted six straight defeats previously, RCB restricted the hosts to 173-4 in their 20 overs despite ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle playing an unbeaten knock of 99.
In reply, the visitors chased down the target with four balls to spare with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers both registering vital half-centuries. For KXIP, it was the second loss in a row in the competition and their third defeat in four games overall.
GAYLE MAKES MOST OF REPRIEVE IN ONE-MAN SHOW
Chris Gayle should have been walking back to the dressing room after a five-ball duck but the failure of RCB to review the lbw decision after Umesh Yadav struck the veteran opener on the pads proved highly costly.
Making the most of his reprieve in the first over of the game, Gayle single-handedly dragged KXIP towards a competitive total after the likes of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Sarfaraz Khan could only muster brief cameos.
The Jamaican had a quiet spell against the spinners in the middle overs but was otherwise his belligerent self as he plundered five sixes and 10 boundaries in a 64-ball innings which fetched 99 runs.
Gayle was unlucky to miss out on what would have been a sensational seventh IPL ton after he could only send the last delivery of the innings for a boundary.
CHAHAL AND MOEEN PUT THE BREAKS ON KXIP
Kings XI openers Gayle and Rahul had started in explosive fashion in the powerplay and were scoring at a rate of around 10 an over before Yuzvendra Chahal provided RCB with the big breakthrough.
After being smacked for a boundary by Rahul, the Bangalore leg-spinner struck back immediately by having the batsman stumped. The India wrist-spinner continued his excellent individual campaign with a second wicket moments later which came via a peach of a delivery.
Chahal squared Mayank Agarwal all ends up with a ripping leg-spinner before fellow spinner Moeen Ali sent back his England team-mate Sam Curran. Together, the two spinners vastly reduced Punjab’s rate of scoring in the middle overs with their combined eight overs leaking only 52 runs in the end.
KOHLI, ABD RISE TO THE OCCASION
The lack of runs in the middle-overs proved to be costly for the hosts with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers coming together to deliver RCB’s maiden win.
After a quick-fire cameo from Parthiv Patel at the top, it was the Kohli and ABD show at Mohali with the two star batsmen forging a 85-run stand for the second wicket to build a solid platform for victory.
It was Kohli who was the primary aggressor early on with the RCB skipper going on to register his 36th IPL fifty. The India man departed after a 53-ball 67 with still plenty left to do for the visitors in the death overs but De Villiers then seized control in sensational fashion with some desperately needed big hits in the company of Marcus Stoinis.
The South African ace remained unbeaten on a 38-ball 59, with his third half-century of the campaign sealing RCB’s first win.
Kings XI Punjab: 173-4
Chris Gayle: 99 all out (64)
Yuzvendra Chahal: 2-33
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 174-2
Virat Kohli: 67 (53)
AB de Villiers: 59 not out (38)
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