Sandeep Sharma (left) took three wickets for Kings XI Punjab © IANS
Sandeep Sharma (left) took three wickets for Kings XI Punjab © IANS

 

By Shrikant Shankar

 

Apr 28, 2014

 

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have been restricted to 124 for eight by Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 on April 28. It was a brilliant bowling performance by the Punjab bowlers as they did not allow the star-studded Bangalore batting line-up to get into the game. Yuvraj Singh was the top-scorer for Bangalore with 35 off 32 deliveries. Chris Gayle returned to the Bangalore line-up and gave a rocking start to the innings, but was dismissed for 20 off seven deliveries. Sandeep Sharma was the pick of the bowlers for Punjab in Match 18 of IPL 7 as he took three wickets.

 

Mitchell Johnson and Rishi Dhawan took two wickets each. Kings XI Punjab captain George Bailey had won the toss and elected to field. Gayle replaced fellow West Indies cricketer Ravi Rampaul. Bangalore had another change as fast bowler Varun Aaron came in for Sachin Rana. Punjab named an unchanged XI from their win in the last match.

 

Gayle and Parthiv Patel opened the batting for Punjab. Glenn Maxwell began proceedings. The first ball got the edge of Gayle’s bat and went past the first slip for a four towards third-man. Gayle then sliced another delivery over cover for a four. Gayle then came down the track and hit a six over long-off. The last ball of the over was smashed for a six towards long-on. But the joy of Gayle coming back into the Bangalore line-up was short-lived. He danced down the track to Sandeep Sharma and missed with his expansive drive. The ball crashed into the stumps and that prompted wild celebrations among Punjab players.

 

Virat Kohli was the next batsman and he cut his first delivery through point for a four. But he was dismissed LBW next delivery. The ball tailed in and struck Kohli’s pads. It looked like the ball would have gone down the leg side, but the umpire raised his finger. Kohli was not happy and took his time to walk back into the dug-out. Parthiv then almost got run-out in the third over. The shy did not hit the stumps. Takawale then edged one from Johnson to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

 

Parthiv was the fourth wicket to go as he edged an away moving delivery from Sandeep to Saha. He was out for two runs. AB de Villiers then eased some tension with an on-drive off Johnson for four towards long-on. More pressure was lifted as Yuvraj tucked a back of a length delivery from Sandeep towards wide deep mid-wicket for a four. De Villiers then cut a loose wide delivery for a four through cover-point. Johnson then decided to test Yuvraj with some chin-music. The 50 came up for Bangalore in the seventh over.

 

Lakshmipathy Balaji was brought in the eighth over and Yuvrah greeted him with an exquisite expansive cover drive for four. But Balaji almost got Yuvraj bowled with one that came in, but the ball just missed the bails. That did not deter Yuvraj as he struck a massive six off Akshar Patel over deep mid-wicket in the ninth over.

 

Rishi Dhawan then struck in his first over by dismissing de Villiers. He bowled one on a back of a length and de Villiers cut the ball to Maxwell at backward-point. He departed for 17 off 15 deliveries. The field placements from Baily were good. Albie Morkel cut a wide delivery from Dhawan, but the deep point fielder cut out the boundary. Maxwell came back in the attack to bowl the 13th over. Morkel bent down on one knee and launched one high over deep mid-wicket for a six. Yuvraj then swept a full delivery over square-leg for a four.

 

But the revival was halted by Balaji as Morkel inside-edged a length delivery onto the stumps in the 14th over. He played a flat-batted shot but also across the line and edged the ball. Morkel was out for 15 off 14 deliveries. Yuvraj soon followed as he pulled a short delivery from Dhawan straight to David Miller at deep mid-wicket. Yuvraj was dismissed for 35 off 32 deliveries with three fours and one six.

 

Mitchell Starc and Varun Aaron added a 23-run partnership for the eighth wicket. But Johnson bowled Starc for eight on the first delivery of the 20th over. In the end, Bangalore finished at 124 for eight.

 

Brief scores:

 

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) vs Kings XI Punjab.

 

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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)