IPL 2013: Gilchrist, Mahmood help Punjab beat Bangalore

Adam Gilchrist smashed 85 off 54 balls to take Kings XI Punjab to a comfortable victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore © PTI

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Bangalore: May 14, 2013

Adam Gilchrist and Azhar Mahmood stunned the Royal Challengers Bangalore on their own turf as Kings XI Punjab successfully chased a target of 175. This makes things interesting at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 as the table is now wide open with his result. Things get tougher for Bangalore, while Punjab hold on to their ray of hope. Bangalore remain on the fourth spot with one game to go as Punjab are placed sixth.

Gilchrist won the toss and elected to bowl first. They made one change as Manpreet Gony came into the side in place of Praveen Kumar. Bangalore had their fair share of changes as Zaheer Khan was picked for his first game of the season. Muttiah Muralitharan, Arun Karthik and Lokesh Rahul were the others who entered the eleven. Ravi Rampual, Abhimanyu Mithun, Murali Karthik and Saurabh Tiwary made way for the quartet.

Punjab’s pacers kept things quiet early on. Gayle did not get a lot of the strike in the initial overs and it was Pujara who took most of it. Even after Pujara was dismissed, Kohli and Gayle found it difficult to get things going and were struggling. However, they unleashed an array of strokes after the 13th over.

Gayle got stuck into the bowling, smashing Gony for three sixes in an over. There was a lot of drama towards the end as Parvinder Awana was hit for a couple of sixes, but also outsmarted the batsmen. He had Gayle off his feet and also yorked him later. AB de Villiers came in and smashed his first ball for six and was bowled off the next ball. A short stint by Rahul took Bangalore beyond 170. 

Punjab made a change to their batting order as Shaun Marsh opened the batting with Gilchrist. They got off to a good start as they found the boundaries early on. However, Zaheer got through Marsh’s defence in the third over. There was another promotion as Azhar Mahmood walked in at number three.

Gilchrist and Mahmood were going stably. Mahmood took the attack to Bangalore in the sixth over as he smashed Moises Henriques for three boundaries. Punjab finished the powerplay on 46 for one. They were overly attacking and were building a base.

Gilchrist was getting into his elements as he started accelerating as the half-way mark approached. But, the asking rate has climbed over nine at the end of the tenth over. Even Mahmood was gradually upping the ante and the game was in the balance. They were gradually shifting gears and found the quite regularly.

Gilchrist got to his fifty in the 14th over by hitting a maximum off Zaheer. It had taken him 41 balls to achieve the milestone. He then hit a four to cap off a big over for Punjab. Mahmood then got to his mark in similar style as he lofted Muralitharan over long-on for a six. Muralitharan went on to concede two fours in that over to tip the balance in favour of Punjab.

In the last five over, Punjab needed only 35 and it was all too easy from that point. The phase between the 10th and the 15th over had changed the complexion of the game as the two batsmen made the charge. Mahmood fell for 61 as he holed out to de Villiers at long-off. The star of the previous encounter between the two teams — David Miller did not last long.

Those strikes did not affect Punjab as Gilchrist was on song. Rekindling memories of his glory days, he charged to Muralitharan and lofted him for six over the covers. He then followed it up with slog-sweep that cleared the boundary.

Rajagopal Sathish joined in to finish the game for Punjab with eleven balls to spare.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore 174 for 5 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 77, Virat Kohli 58; Parvinder Awana 3 for 39, Azhar Mahmood 2 for 25) lost to Kings XI Punjab 176 for 3 in 18.1 overs (Adam Gilchrist 85*, Azhar Mahmood 61; Zaheer Khan 1 for 30, Jaydev Unadkat 1 for 34) by 7 wickets.

Man of the Match: Adam Gilchrist

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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with cricketcountry.com and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)