Patel’s miserly spell
When RCB’s Harshal Patel got the ball from skipper Virat Kohli, Kings XI Punjab had amassed 49 runs in four overs and looked on course to setting a big target. Patel struck quickly, a slower delivery accounting for Manan Vohra before Glenn Maxwell mistimed a pull. Patel not only varied his length but used the slower deliveries well. With KXIP skipper George Bailey still at the crease, Patel bowled four slow deliveries in his third over — all dot balls.
Yuzvendra Chahal, who went for 25 runs in his two overs, made a good comeback after his initial difficulty to grip the wet ball. Chahal removed the dangerous David Miller and Bailey. Chahal and Patel, with a little help from Mitchell Starc, too contributed in keeping KXIP to just 21 runs in the last three overs.
Saha’s initial heroics
Wridhiman Saha played the kind of cameo which makes one wonder about what could have been if he had batted a little longer. Saha, opening the innings, departed after amassing 31 runs off 11 runs at a strike rate of 258.33 and his early onslaught meant that Kings had 34 runs on board in two overs. However, KXIP middle order woes continued with Maxwell falling for 10 but minor cameos from Miller, Axar Patel gave them a decent total.
Bailey’s smart tactics
With Mitchell Johnson back in Australia, the hosts gave the new ball to Sandeep Sharma. Sharma’s first over was eventful. A boundary and six by Chris Gayle was followed by a loud LBW shout and a caught appeal against the same batsman.
South African Beuran Hendricks started miserly and Anureet removed Virat Kohli in the third over. Skipper George Bailey’s constant changing of bowlers worked as the Royal Challengers’s run-rate was below 10 in the first four overs. Sandeep also removed Gayle via a well-directed bouncer in the fifth over. Bailey’s next move was to bring on left-arm spinner Axar Patel in the seventh over. The wily spinner outfoxed AB de Villiers with a flat delivery — the sweep shot not getting the elevation the batsman expected.
Gayle, Kohli and De Villiers could not ensure that the run-rate was on par for the chase, and after their dismissals, it was Hendricks who did the trick for the hosts. Bowling a mix of deliveries – short of a length, full-length and yorkers, he did not concede a boundary and also removed Dinesh Karthik. Axar also removed Mandeep Singh. In all, 30 percent of the deliveries by Kings XI bowlers dot balls.
Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab 106 for 6 (Saha 31, Harshal 2-12) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 84 for 6 (Mandeep 20, Axar 2-11, Anureet 2-21) 22 runs. Match reduced to 10 overs a side