Umesh Yadav finished with 3 for 23    AFP
Umesh Yadav finished with 3 for 23 AFP

Match 48 of VIVO IPL 2018 between Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) witnessed basic of application from KXIP batsmen. Meanwhile, RCB bowlers combined to strangle some of the big hitters of the opposition camp to 88 in 15.1 overs. Umesh Yadav (4-0-23-3) was the most impressive of the lot. If RCB chase this total inside 10 overs, which they ideally should, it will have a horrendous impact on KXIP’s net run-rate.

The innings started with Umesh and Tim Southee bowling in tandem. Holkar Stadium, Indore is a small ground which assists batsmen. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle, the in-form KXIP openers, were expected to make merry of a flat track. They were kept under check for the first couple of overs. Just when they took on the attacking mode, Umesh struck twice. Eyeing the aerial route to short-pitched deliveries, both Gayle and Rahul perished after getting starts.

The rest merely followed suit. No other batsman has found form for KXIP apart from the openers. Karun Nair edged one to first slip. Aaron Finch threw his wicket away with plenty of overs in hand while taking on Moeen Ali. Constant shift in batting position didn’t help Mayank Agarwal. And skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and Andrew Tye were victims of precarious running between wickets, as did Ankit Rajpoot.

This was an abject surrender from KXIP. It is a must-win clash for both teams as the race for Playoffs’ last two spots is open for five sides. Today’s performance has certainly put KXIP in a fix.

Expect RCB batsmen to come all guns blazing. AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli to open, anyone?

Brief scores:

Kings XI Punjab 88 in 15.1 overs (KL Rahul 21, Chris Gayle 18, Aaron Finch 26; Umesh Yadav 3 for 23) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore