May 05, 2016
By MI Media
Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers faced each other for the first time in this season of IPL. Yesterday we saw the face-off between two top of the table teams, and today it was between the last and the penultimate team. It was KXIP who won the toss and chose to bowl first.
KL Rahul and Virat Kohli got off to their regulation start as they breezed past their 50 stand within the power play. The introduction of spin rang danger bells for RCB as they lost three crucial wickets which left them at 67-3. AB de Villiers started rebuilding the innings alongside Sachin Baby. They did not let KXIP bowlers do any additional damage while they kept the single coming to keep the score board ticking, until De Villiers exploded with his final assault. The two Sharma's had no answer to the man on strike as De Villiers transformed into an absolute beast, wrecking havoc in the KXIP camp. The bowlers couldn't execute their bowling plans with the exhibition ABD was putting up. They finally managed to get De Villiers 64(35) when he sliced one to third man. Had AB stayed they would have got more, but they still managed to set a target of 175 runs.
Punjab got off to a slow start with Hashim Amla and captain opening the innings. Murali Vijay appeared to be in great touch as he was timing the ball well. Even after he lost Amla in power play he tried to build partnerships to keep his side in the game. Punjab was in a spot of bother when they lost Wriddhiman Saha and David Miller off consecutive deliveries. With Maxwell not playing the match the chances started fading. Courtesy, a fantastic batting effort from Vijay and Marcus Stoinis, KXIP revived hopes in the Punjab camp. But Shane Watson struck again and picked the crucial wicket of Vijay 89(57). Even after that Punjab looked on course, until Watson bowled a superb penultimate over to concede just 7 runs. With 17 required of last over the Kings came within a sniffing distance of victory but fell short by a run.