By BV Swagath
Kings XI Punjab have gone on to win their fifth match in a row in IPL 7. Tonight they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 5 wickets with 7 balls to spare.
RCB following their disastrous batting show against Rajasthan Royals threatened to repeat the same. They did better though by posting a total of 124 for 8 with Yuvraj Singh top scoring with 35 from 32 balls. It was a shocking collapse for RCB though as Chris Gayle began the match by smashing offie Glenn Maxwell for 20 runs in the opening over but only to be dismissed by Sandeep Sharma in the first ball of the 2nd over.
Skipper Virat Kohli got a rough lbw decision from Umpire Billy Bowden as RCB slipped to 25 for 2 in the 2nd over. Soon RCB were reduced to 26 for 4 before AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh got a partnership going. AB de Villiers got out after scoring 17 (from 15 balls) pulling Rishi Dhawan to mid wicket leaving RCB at 67 for 5 in 9.2 overs.
RCB slipped further to 97 for 7 in the 15th over when the well set Yuvraj Singh perished pulling Rishi Dhawan to deep mid wicket. Dhawan had a great day taking 2 for 14 in four overs. L Balaji and Mitchell Johnson bowled superbly as well but the pick of the bowlers was again Sandeep Sharma with a great new ball spell of 3-1-15-3.
Kings XI Punjab made heavy weather of the run chase losing five wickets and taking 18.5 overs to get to 125. Virender Sehwag was the top scorer with 32 from 26 balls. Glenn Maxwell had a rare failure getting out to Varun Aaron’s short ball. David Miller scored a quickfire 26 from 20 balls to seal the run chase.
There was a slight stutter for Kings XI at 88 for 5 in 13 overs when Sehwag was given caught behind off Yuzvendra Chaval. Skipper George Bailey (16* from 16 balls) guided Kings XI home with a crucial 6th wicket stand with Rishi Dhawan who remained unbeaten on 23 (from 22 balls).
Toss and Teams: Kings XI Punjab have won the toss and asked Royal Challengers Bangalore to bat first in Match 18 at Dubai. RCB have been boosted with the return of Chris Gayle who plays his first match of this season. Making way for Gayle is Ravi Rampaul while Varun Aaron comes in for Sachin Rana. Kings XI go in with an unchanged side.