Kings XI Punjab crushed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 32 runs for their seventh win that consolidated their position at the top of the IPL table here Friday.
Starring in Kings XI’s comprehensive win was South African David Miller (66 off 29 balls) as the visitors piled up 198 for eight in 20 overs. Royal Challengers were then put to rout after seamer Sandeep Sharma removed Chris Gayle and skipper Virat Kohli off consecutive deliveries in the second over and the hosts were pegged to 166 for 9.
It was one of the worst performances by Royal Challengers who bowled and fielded badly, and topped it by even poor batting to suffer their fifth loss in eight outings.
Facing a massive target, RCB’s chase was tripped at the very start with the dismissals of Gayle and Kohli. Though AB de Villiers played a battling innings of 53, wickets fell at regular intervals as Kings XI continued their relentless march to yet another victory.
Aiding Sandeep Sharma, who also dismissed Parthiv Patel (13), was rookie off-spinner Shivam Sharma who picked up two wickets, those of Yuvraj Singh (3) and Albie Morkel (16). Towards end, veteran Laxmipathi Balaji accounted for two more dismissals to complete RCB’s rout.
Kings XI made capital of a sloppy Royal Challengers performance for much of the 20 overs as Virender Sehwag (30) and Mandeep Singh (21) put on 60 runs for the first wicket at a good clip before both departed while attempting to step up the scoring rate.
It was to Kings XI’s credit that they did not take the foot off the pedal as Glenn Maxwell (25 off 11) and Miller maintained the momentum while Wriddhiman Saha (17) and Mitchell Johnson (16 not out) contributed useful runs.
Miller batted quite beautifully, playing some authentic cricketing shots as he added 54 runs for the fourth wicket with Saha who was content to rotate the strike.
Kings XI who scored 107 runs in the first 10 overs, added another 98 in the second half of the innings to set up a challenging total.
The Royal Challengers performance was rather ordinary. Besides misfields, the bowlers were guilty of spraying the ball as they sent down eight wides and two no balls inside the powerplay.
Seamers Mitchell Starc, who held a brilliant catch near the ropes to cut short Maxwell’s innings, and Harshal Patel picked up two wickets apiece, as also leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal who was pick of the bowlers.
Kings XI Punjab 198 for 8 in 20 overs (Virender Sehwag 30, Mandeep Singh 21, Glenn Maxwell 25, David Miller 66, Mitchell Starc 2 for 43, Harshal Patel 2 for 56, Yuzvendra Chahal 2 for 23) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 166 for 9 in 20 overs (Sachin Rana 18, AB de Villiers 53, Mitchell Stark 29, Sandeep Sharma 3 for 25, Shivam Sharma 2 for 26, Laxmipathi Balaji 2 for 43).