Punjab Beat Banglore By 32 Runs
Kings XI Punjab registered yet another resounding win in Pepsi IPL 2014 – this time against the Royal Challengers Bangalore by a 32-run margin. Batting first, the George Bailey-led side posted a mountainous 198 for eight – that was fuelled by a stunning half-century by David Miller (66 off 29 balls) and invaluable cameos by Virender Sehwag and Glenn Maxwell during various points in the innings. Then, the KXIP bowlers – led by Sandeep Sharma (4-0-25-3) – created regular dents in the RCB line-up to restrict them to 166 for nine. As a result of this win, the Mohali franchise has further solidified its position atop the league table.
Earlier, RCB won the toss and asked their opponents to take first strike. Both Virender Sehwag and Mandeep Singh scored at a fair clip as they punished any loose offerings from the RCB bowlers. They brought up the team’s 50 in the sixth over itself. However, soon after that, Mandeep Singh (21) returned to the dugout; Harshal Patel dismissed him with the KXIP score on 60. But then, Sehwag was joined by Glenn Maxwell, who got off the mark with a boundary. Thanks to the brisk start, KXIP notched up 64 runs in the powerplay.
However, RCB soon got an important breakthrough with the wicket of Sehwag (30); Yuzvendra Chahal accounted for his scalp in the seventh over. This brought the deadly duo of Maxwell and David Miller together. And as has been the case so far this season, Miller played himself in as his senior partner went after the opposition bowlers from the get go. In fact, the right-hander struck Yuvraj Singh for two consecutive sixes in the eighth over to announce his intentions. But Maxwell’s (25) 11-ball blitz came to an end when Mitchell Starc caught him on the mid-wicket fence off the bowling of Chahal.
Skipper George Bailey walked in to bat with the scorecard reading 93 for three in 8.5 overs. The KXIP 100 then came up in the 10th over; and at the halfway stage, the visitors were on 107 for three. Bailey (1), however, perished soon off the bowling of Albie Morkel. However, Miller continued with the big-hitting. The left-hander brought up his half-century in just 23 balls – with a massive 102-m six. Even Wriddhiman Saha joined him in plundering the RCB bowlers as the duo scored 26 runs off a Harshal Patel over – the 16th of the innings.
But finally, Varun Aaron got rid of the destructive Miller (66) – who smashed eight fours and three maximums while facing 29 balls – leaving KXIP on 170 for five in 16.3 overs. Harshal Patel then dismissed Saha (17), who added 14 runs for the sixth wicket with Mitchell Johnson (16*). And in the final over, Starc got rid of Akshar Patel (2) and Shivam Sharma (4) as KXIP managed 198 for eight.
In response, Parthiv Patel and Chris Gayle (4) opened the RCB innings, but the latter was dismissed by Sandeep Sharma in the third over. And off the very next delivery, the KXIP pacer got rid of Virat Kohli (0), leaving RCB on eight for two in 2.2 overs. Sachin Rana then joined Parthiv Patel in the middle (13); but their 18-run partnership was also broken by Sandeep Sharma when he claimed the latter in the sixth over. Even Rana’s (18) stay in the middle was brief; Akshar Patel bowled him out in the next over.
This dismissal brought AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh together. But the experienced duo could only add 11 runs off 16 balls, before KXIP struck again; this time, it was the debutant, Shivam Sharma, who had Yuvraj Singh (3) caught in the slips. The young spinner even halted Morkel’s (16) eight-ball cameo, leaving RCB struggling at 76 for six in 11.1 overs.
However, de Villiers (53) continued to do what he does best – smack bowlers all over the park. Thanks to a flurry of sixes and fours, he even reached his half-century in quick time. But he perished soon after, off the bowling of Lakshmipathy Balaji, after adding 49 runs (off 27 balls) with Starc. Johnson then got the better of Harshal Patel in the 17th over to reduce RCB to 133 for eight and all but sealed the fate of the contest. And finally, Balaji returned to dismiss Starc (29) in the 20th over. RCB ended up with 166 for nine, 32 runs short of KXIP’s tally.