Kings XI Punjab kept their nerves towards the end of their chase to register a four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in an Indian Premier League (IPL) nail-biter at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday. Chasing 159 to win, the visitors were on their way to an easy win at one time with just 13 runs needed to close out the match, but a flurry of wickets, especially three run-outs, took the match into the last over.
With five runs required in the last over to win, Piyush Chawla smashed Vinay Kumar for a six off the fifth ball to see his team home.
Nitin Saini (50), David Hussey (45) and Mandeep Singh (43) played crucial hands in the chase. This was Punjab’s second successive win and now they lie fourth in the standings with five wins in 10 matches, while Bangalore lost their second successive match to be 6th.
Punjab got off to a good start with Mandeep and Shaun Marsh adding 38 off 28 balls. Mandeep did the bulk of the scoring in a 38-run partnership that was ended by Andrew McDonald, who cleaned up Marsh for 8. Mandeep was impressive during his innings before being trapped in front of the stumps by K Appanna. His wicket gave Punjab some hope but Saini and captain Hussey were determined to take the team over the line, especially Saini who showed a lot of nous during his stay. He and Hussey added 73 to take the visitors within 13 runs of victory. But those 13 runs took a lot of getting with Saini falling to Zaheer Khan and the run-outs of Abhishek Nayar, Hussey and Azhar Mahmood.
Earlier, after being put into bat, Bangalore lost Mayank Agarwal early as Aussie Ryan Harris – playing his first match this season - sent his off-stump cartwheeling with only seven runs on the board. Virat Kohli joined Chris Gayle and began a partnership that at one time threatened to take the game away from the visitors. Parvinder Awana and Chawla in particular were at the receiving end as Gayle played some mutilating shots. Both added 119 runs off 83 balls as the team headed for a big total but Punjab’s Pakistani import Mahmood came back to end the West Indian’s innings with a well-aimed bouncer in the 16th over.
Gayle scored 71 off 42 balls with six boundaries and four sixes to take his IPL tally to 407 runs in nine matches this season. One of his sixes travelled 111 metres, an IPL 5 record. Chawla then got in on the act and accounted for Kohli in the next over. The India batsman made 45 off 42 balls and played a perfect foil to Gayle. The twin blow reined in the hosts’ innings. The Mahmood-led Punjab bowling came up trumps yielding just 36 runs in the last five overs. Mahmood, who also has the citizenship of England, sent back McDonald and AB de Villiers in the last over to restrict Bangalore to 158 for 5, which was at least 20 runs fewer.