Kings XI Punjab 106/6 (Saha 31, Axar 20) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 84/6 (Axar 2/11, Hendricks 1/9) by 22 runs.
Kings XI Punjab stunned Royal Challengers Bangalore with 22 runs victory in a rain affected encounter at Mohali. The game was reduced to 10-overs each side due to heavy rain.
Chasing 106, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli got off to a flying start accumulating 33 runs in three overs but Kohli went for expensive drive and played on to his stumps off Anureet Singh on last ball of third over of the inning. From there on momentum seemed to be shifted towards Kings. Last match centurion for Bangalore, AB de Villiers didn’t look promising today as he was struggling to middle the ball. After Kohli dismissal, Gayle too found it tuff to put the ball away and not managed to accelerate the scoring. He edged a bouncer off Sandeep Sharma in trying to pull and was caught by Saha behind the stumps in the fifth over. Mandeep Singh hit two boundaries after that and raised hopes in the Royals camp. But with de Villiers getting perished in the seventh over, Bangalore didn’t had enough batting power in lower order to chase that score and they were restricted on 84/6 in 10 overs, giving an easy 22 runs victory to Kings XI Punjab.
Axar Patel(2/11) and Beuran Hendricks(1/9) was the star performer with the ball for Kings. Axar claimed the most important wickets of AB de Villiers and Mandeep Singh which summed up the game for his team.
Earlier Royal Challengers won the toss and elected to bowl first. Murali Vijay was rested, so Wriddhiman Saha(31) and Manan Vohra came to open the inning for the Kings. Saha took Mitchell Starc and Sreenath Aravind apart and piled 34 run in first two overs of the inning. Mandeep Singh caught Saha on first ball of the third over to give Royals a much needed breakthrough. Maxwell, Vohra and Miller also got out in run of play. Kings were looking good for a big score then but little collapse in the middle order reduced them on 71/4 in sixth over. Then George Bailey and others looked to play the full 10 overs and get as many as possible. Axar Patel (20) played a short cameo later and in process, they could only manage to get 106 on the board.
Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal took two wickets apiece and played a vital role in recovering from the onslaught of Wriddhiman Saha early in the inning.
Had Bangalore won this game, they would have jumped on the second spot in the points table. This game was not only important for Bangalore but also for other teams like Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders. Win here for Bangalore could have dumped the Mumbai Indians chances for qualifying for the playoffs. The eights edition of Indian Premier League is still open for all teams except Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab.