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By Bharath Ramaraj
May 9, 2014
In the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 game played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab, Bangalore were outplayed by Punjab and eventually, they lost the game by a huge margin of 32 runs. None of Bangalore’s batsmen were able to get going. Only Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers looked in fine touch for them. de Villiers, who played a fabulous innings against Sunrisers Hyderabad essayed fine shots, especially the flat six down the ground off Glenn Maxwell was a majestic hit. Albie Morkel too gave it a mighty thump off Maxwell’s bowling to smash two sixes. He finally lost his wicket to Maxwell’s off-spin. He got out for a well made 16.
De Villiers though, continued to clamber boundaries that rocketed to the boundary boards at the speed of red-lightning, but it seemed like he was like a boy on a burning deck, as the rest of the batsmen didn’t support him. When he got out to Lakshmipathy Balaji’s bowling for 53 off a mere 27 balls it was the final nail in their coffin. In short, it was a day when Bangalore lost their way by losing quick wickets early on, and that led to their downfall.
For Punjab, Sandeep Sharma swung the ball late with geometric precision to take three wickets. He also found movement off the track to keep the opposition on tenterhooks. It was he who took the key wickets of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli. Kohli will be disappointed with the team’s performance, as they continue to flounder in IPL 7. On the other end of the spectrum, Punjab have been the team to beat in IPL 2014. Their only loss has come against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2014.
Earlier, Punjab’s batsmen made merry on a flat deck by essaying shots throughout the allotted 20 overs of their innings and ended up with a monstrous score of 198 for the loss of eight wickets on the board. Actually, it was Virender Sehwag, who opened up his shoulders by essaying shots all over the park. He was particularly severe square of the wicket on both sides. Once he and Mandeep Singh, the young opener got out in quick succession, Glenn Maxwell went on a rampage. He was severe on Yuvraj Singh’s slow left-arm orthodox by smashing him for 19 runs in a single over.
Maxwell too lost the plot by the end by getting out to Yuzvendra’s Chahal‘s bowling being caught by Mitchell Starc at deep mid-wicket region. Daivd Miller, the left-handed batsman from South Africa then took over from him by playing towering shots down the ground. Miller also went after Starc by bisecting gaps mainly through the off-side to leave fielders motionless. He then took on Harshal Patel, the seamer by clambering him to all corners of the ground and scoring 26 runs off a single over. The shot that hit the roof off Harshal’s bowling was 102 metres. He finally lost his wicket to a fine catch held by Chahal. Chahal, the leg-spinner was the main wicket-taker for Bangalore setup, as he took two wickets in the game with his box of tricks.
Actually, Bangalore won the toss and elected to bowl. The threat of rain perhaps made Viraat Kohli to think about electing to bowl. The track was flat and one can expect it to stay true for the course of the game. Sehwag and Mandeep opened the batting for Punjab. Bangalore’s opening bowler, Starc, the left-arm swing merchant from Australia found some swing early on to trouble Sehwag outside the off-stump. Sehwag as usual tended to flash at anything outside his off-stump and played and missed a few times against the left-arm swing bowler. It has to be said though, Starc at times found it hard to get his line right from over the wicket. He even tried to bowl from around the wicket.
The likes of Varun Aaron and Albie Morkel too struggled a touch to get it right on the money. Sehwag, who looked relaxed at the crease finally opened up his shoulders by flicking Albie Morkel for a boundary during the second over of the game. Mandeep also essayed a boundary off Starc’s bowling to get things going for Punjab.
Kings XI Punjab 198 for 8 in 20 overs (Virender Sehwag 30, Glenn Maxwell 25, David Miller 66; Yuzvendra Chahal 2 for 23) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 166 for 9 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 53, Mitchell Starc 29; Sandeep Sharma 3 for 25) by 32 runs.
Man of the Match: Sandeep Sharma
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)
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