An inspired spell with the new ball from Sandeep Sharma [3-22] saw the Kings XI Punjab [KXIP] pile on more misery on Royal Challengers Bangalore [RCB] at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on Friday.
Sandeep has been one of the most consistent Indian fast bowlers in the last few editions of the Indian Premier League [IPL] and he was at it once again as he became the first ever bowler to take the wickets of Chris Gayle [0 off 2 balls], Virat Kohli [6 off 6 balls], and AB de Villiers [10 off 6 balls] in the same innings.
The 23-year-old first found the leading edge of Gayle’s bat as the West Indian batsman’s torrid time in this season’s IPL continued. He followed that up with the wickets up of Kohli and de Villiers, both of whom who tried to be aggressive but neither managed to stay at the crease for long.
Mandeep Singh fought hard for the Bengaluru-based franchise as he kept one end occupied, en route to scoring a 40-ball 46 – his highest score of the season.
There was some hope for the home team towards the end with Pawan Negi [21 off 23 balls] still at the crease and the asking rate well in control, but Axar Patel was on hand to dismiss Negi and Samuel Badree [8 off 9 balls] off consecutive deliveries in the 18th over to more or less end the match as a contest.
Patel picked three wickets for 11 runs, while Mohit Sharma and Glenn Maxwell took two scalps each as Punjab completed a 19-run victory.
Earlier, the Royal Challengers bowling did well to restrict Kings XI to just 138-7 in their 20 overs.
Aniket Choudhary took the wicket of Hashim Amla [1 off 3 balls] in the first over of the innings. Although there wasn’t a loud appeal from the hosts, Amla showed some great sportsman spirit as he walked after the ball found the edge of his bat en route to the wicketkeeper.
The Kings XI kept losing wickets at regular intervals and never got any momentum going. Shaun Marsh [20 off 17 balls], Manan Vohra [25 off 28 balls], and Wriddhiman Saha [21 off 25 balls] all got starts, but none of them managed to kick on and score big.
It needed a late blitz from Patel to get the visiting team to a defendable total, with the all-rounder scoring an unbeaten 38 from just 17 deliveries. He managed to take 19 runs off the last over of the innings which was bowled by Shane Watson, something that proved to be very crucial in the end.
Choudhary was the pick of the bowlers for RCB, taking two wickets and conceding just 17 runs from his four overs. In fact, he achieved a rare feat by bowling a maiden in the 19th over of Punjab’s innings.
The ever-reliable Yuzvendra Chahal also put in a fine performance with the ball, picking up bowling figures of 2-21 from his four overs.
With this win, Punjab have put themselves right into the mix in the battle for the playoff spots. They now have 10 points from as many matches and are just three points behind fourth-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad who have played a game extra.
On the other hand, the Royal Challengers have won just two matches this season and find themselves at the bottom of the table with just five points from 12 games.
Kings XI Punjab 138-7, 20 overs [Patel 38*, Choudhary 2-17, Chahal 2-21] beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 119, 19 overs [Mandeep 46, Patel 3-11, Sandeep 3-22] by 19 runs.
Player of the Match – Sandeep Sharma.