Riding on one of the greatest catches of all time and superb bowling at the death, Kolkata Knight Riders staged a dramatic fightback to pull off a two-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in a thrilling last-ball finish at the Indian Premier League (IPL) at Sharjah on Thursday.
Chasing 151, RCB fell short after an airborne Chris Lynn, who had earlier smashed a 31-ball 45, stretched his body backwards at the deep midwicket fence to pull off a blinder and send back dangerman AB de Villiers.
Needing nine off the last over, RCB could manage only seven, thanks largely to R Vinay Kumar‘s superb bowling besides Lynn’s catch.
Chasing on a good batting surface, Bangalore were off to a blazing start with Yogesh Takawale (40) and Parthiv Patel (21) dealing in boundaries.
Takawale was the more aggressive of the two as he launched into a flurry of boundaries, picking KKR pace spearhead Morne Morkel for special treatment.
Of his eight boundaries, six came when the 29-year-old Takawale was up against Morkel, helping his side reach 50 in just 37 balls.
In between, hoping for a breakthrough, KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir handed over the ball to Sunil Narine, but took him off after a very economical first over, preferring to keep his most important bowler for the latter overs.
However, after settling in nicely, Takawale was trapped in front of the wicket by Jacques Kallis. He needed just 28 balls to score his runs.
Captain Virat Kohli (31) walked in but even before he could get his eye in, Patel was making his way back to the dressing room, as his leading edge popped up for Chris Lynn at cover.
This brought Yuvraj Singh (31) into the middle and the two experienced players went about the task in a calculated manner.
At the halfway stage of their innings, RCB needed 64 runs with eight wickets in hand. Yuvraj brought the equation down by a few runs after he clobbered Umesh Yadav for a six into the midwicket stands. A single was taken before Kohli whacked the bowler over the midwicket region.
Kohli then hit Kallis for two exquisite back-to-back cover drives with sheer timing and placements.
Yuvraj helped himself to a boundary to deep square-leg, before Kohli smashed Narine’s full toss midwicket.
The mystery spinner had his revenge next ball, with a tossed-up ball that spun in before beating the inside edge of Kohli’s bat.
At the end of 16th over, RCB needed 28 runs with seven wickets still remaining, but the team failed to achieve the task it set out to. For KKR, Vinay Kumar finished with two for 26 while there was the wicket for Narine.
(Inputs by PTI)