Virender Sehwag scored 32 runs for Kings XI Punjab © IANS
By Shrikant Shankar
Apr 28, 2014
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by five wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 on April 28. Punjab chased down a 125-run target in 18.5 overs. Virender Sehwag top-scored for Punjab with 32 runs off 26 deliveries. David Miller scored 26 off 20 deliveries. The Bangalore bowlers bowled well and Yuzvendra Chahal and Varun Aaron took two wickets each. But it wasn’t enough to stop Punjab from winning five in-a-row.
George Bailey and Rishi Dhawan remained unbeaten as Punjab won the match. Dhawan hit the winning four towards wide long-on. The win keeps Punjab on top of the IPL 7 Points Table with five wins in five matches. Bangalore remain in fifth position with two wins and three losses.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Sehwag began the run-chase for Punjab. Mitchell Starc opened the bowling as Virat Kohli wanted to get his best bowlers in right at the beginning. Pujara opened the scoring with a push towards deep point for two runs. It could have gone for a four, but AB de Villiers ran back from cover, slid in and stopped the ball just in front of the boundary. Albie Morkel bowled the second over. Sehwag got of the mark with a single towards deep cover.
Morkel strayed one on the pads and Pujara flicked it away for a four towards long-leg. Kohli persisted with Starc in search of wickets. It almost worked as he struck Sehwag’s pads, but the ball was going down the leg side. Varun Aaron bowled a full and wide delivery and Sehwag creamed it through the point region for his first four. Ashok Dinda was brought into the attack in the fifth over. Pujara edged the first delivery to Parthiv Patel behind the wickets. It was a back of a length delivery which moved away. Pujara was out for 10 off 18 deliveries. Sehwag then hopped a turned another back of a length delivery through deep square-leg for a four. The next delivery from Dinda was well outside off-stump, but Sehwag flicked it in-between mid-wicket and mid-on for a four.
Aaron then bowled a short delivery and Wriddhiman Saha flick-pulled it towards fine-leg. But Starc managed to catch the ball inches from the boundary line and Saha was out for two runs. After taking the catch, Starc did very well to stay inside the boundary as his momentum was taking him away. Starc then produced an even better catch to dismiss Glenn Maxwell for six runs. Maxwell hooked a bouncer from Aaron towards fine-leg. Starc ran in and dived forward to take a brilliant catch. It was a brilliant spell from Aaron as another bouncer surprised Sehwag and hit his helmet. But the luck was on Sehwag’s side and the ball went for four byes. That brought up Punjab’s 50.
After taking those magnificent catches, Starc began the 10th over with two wides. Yuzvendra Chahal dragged one slightly short and Miller hammered it through cover for a four. Morkel bowled three short deliveries to Miller and all of them were pulled for fours on the leg side. The first went towards deep mid-wicket and the second towards deep square-leg. The third went towards fine-leg. That relieved a bit of pressure for Punjab.
Kings XI Punjab captain George Bailey exults in joy after his team won their fifth IPL 2014 match in-a-row © IANS
But Miller was soon dismissed by Chahal in the 13th over. The leg-spinner angled one across and Miller poked at it and edged the ball to Parthiv. Miller was out for 26 off 20 deliveries. On the last ball of the over, Chahal dismissed Sehwag caught behind for 32 off 26 deliveries. Replays showed that Sehwag had not edged the ball. New batsman Rishi Dhawan cut a back of a length delivery from Dinda for a four towards cover-point.
Dhawan then dabbed at a length delivery from Yuvraj Singh towards third-man and got a four. The scoring-rate was more pedestrian from then on as Bailey and Dhawan were happy to get the singles and twos. The victory was achieved in the 19th over.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab captain George Bailey won the toss and elected to field. Royal Challengers Bangalore were restricted to 124 for eight in their 20 overs. Yuvraj Singh top-scored with 35 off 32 deliveries. Chris Gayle returned to the Bangalore line-up and gave the match a rollicking start with two fours and two sixes in the first over. But he was bowled by Sandeep Sharma in the second over for 20 off seven deliveries. Sandeep went onto take three wickets for 15 runs. Mitchell Johnson and Rishi Dhawan took two wickets each.
The total did not seem enough for Bangalore to defend and it proved so. Sandeep Sharma was adjudged as the Man of the Match for his bowling performance. It is the second consecutive match he has got the award.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 124 for 8 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 20, Yuvraj Singh 35; Sandeep Sharma 3 for 15, Mitchell Johnson 2 for 19, Rishi Dhawan 2 for 14) lost to Kings XI Punjab 127 for 5 in 18.5 overs (Virender Sehwag 32, David Miller 26; Varun Aaron 2 for 29, Yuzvendra Chahal 2 for 23) by 5 wickets.
Man of the Match: Sandeep Sharma
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(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)