Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) survived an extraordinary late choke to end their run of defeats with an eight-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Chasing RCB’s total of 171/6 wickets, KXIP were cruising for much of the game, thanks to half-centuries from captain KL Rahul (61 not out) and Chris Gayle (53), who was playing his first game of the season and Mayank Agarwal’s 45.
However, KXIP struggled to get two runs from the last over bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal, taking it all the way down to the last ball. The first two were dot balls after which Gayle managed to get off strike. After another dot ball, Rahul hit the ball straight to cover and ran for the single. Gayle didn’t make it to his end and was run out which left new batsman Nicholas Pooran needing to score a run off the last ball for KXIP to avoid a Super Over.
Pooran did the needful, hitting a six just over long-on to finish the game.
Before that, however, KXIP put up a clinical show. The opening partnership of Mayank and Rahul performed once again as they put up 78 runs. Agarwal fell to Chahal after which Gayle joined Rahul and put up 93 runs for the second wicket.
Isuru Udana (10) and Chris Morris (25) smashed 24 off the last over to take Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to 171/6.
RCB were struggling for much of the innings despite the quick start to the innings provided by openers Aaron Finch (20) and Devdutt Padikkal (18), as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals after the opening stand was broken.
AB de Villiers (2), who had smashed an unbeaten 73 off 33 balls in RCB’s previous game, was demoted to No. 7 on Thursday with Washington Sundar (13) and Shivam Dube (23) being sent ahead of him. De Villiers came in during the 18th over and was dismissed by Mohammed Shami after scoring just two runs off five balls.
RCB captain Virat Kohli was the highest scorer for his team with 48 off 39 balls but it was Morris and Udana who took the team past the 150-run mark. Shami, who had given away just 21 runs in his first three overs and accounted for the wickets of Kohli and De Villiers, ended up being hit for a four and three sixes in the last over.
Brief scores: RCB 171/6 wkts in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 48, Chris Morris 25; Murugan Ashwin 2/23) lost to KXIP 177/2 wkts in 20 overs (KL Rahul 61 not out, Chrus Gayle 53; Yuzvendra Chahal 1/35) by 8 wickets