Posted by Gareth Parry Added on: May 02 2012
Kings XI Punjab 163 for 6 (Saini 50, Hussey 45, Mandeep 43) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 158 for 5 (Gayle 71, Kohli 45, Mahmood 3-20) by four wickets
The Royal Challengers Bangalore hosted the Kings XI Punjab in the 44th match of the IPL 2012. With only one point between the two sides in the table this was a crucial match with both teams looking to build some momentum in the race to secure a play off place.
The Kings XI Punjab, still lead by David Hussey in the absence of the injured Gilchrist, won the toss and elected to field first. They were aiming to make the most of helpful conditions for seam bowling and ultimately restricted RCB to 158.
The Kings XI bowlers dominated the early part of the innings with Praveen Kumar putting in a superb spell of swing bowling. Ryan Harris, who opened the bowling with Praveen, also looked good; picking up a wicket in his first over of this years IPL with a brute of a delivery that straightened dramatically off the seam and bowled Agarwal with the batsmen playing down the completely wrong line.
Kumar was the main threat finding prodigious swing and seam movement which prompted his captain to let him bowl all four of his overs consecutively. Astonishingly he ended wicketless with the movement he found being too extravagant to find the outside edge of the bat but a return of 4-0-8-0 set a strong foundation for the Kings XI innings.
Gayle and Kohli were the Royal Challengers batsmen at the crease and in the face of the excellence of the Kings XI opening bowlers were forced to play in a subdued manner and aim to keep wickets in hand for an assault against the older ball later in the innings. They reached 64 at the end of the 11th over and with both of them set looked to accelerate the scoring from that point.
Gayle and Kohli took 53 runs from the next three overs with Gayle scoring the bulk of them. He was fortunate to still be their having been dropped off the first ball of the 13th over by David Miller with his score on just 39. Gayle made the most of this error with a series of towering 6's over the next two overs which included a straight hit that cleared the stadium.
It looked as though Gayle was going to take the game away from the Kings XI when Hussey made the brave decision to bowl himself. He was forced into this because of an injury to Ryan Harris and needed to find two overs from another bowler. The Kings XI captains aim was just to concede as few as possible and he went for only 5 of the 15th over of the innings. It was a tremendous effort given how many runs the previous three overs had cost and took the momentum firmly away from the Royal Challengers.
Having regained the initiative Hussey didn't let it go and made the bold choice to bring back the Kings XI's best bowler, Mahmood, for one over. This decision paid dividends with Mahmood getting Gayle to mistime a well directed bouncer and hook the ball to deep mid wicket. Miller, the man who had dropped Gayle earlier, was under it and made no mistake this time with Gayle departing having scored 71 from just 42 balls.
Kohli was bowled, finishing on 45, by Chawla in the next over as the impetus faded from the RCB innings. Even AB de Villiers, who had replaced Gayle, was unable to take Bangalore to the big score Gayle and Kohli's onslaught had promised. Hussey bowled an excellent second over to finish with figures of 2-0-9-0 and Mahmood was able to close the innings out bowling a final over which conceded just 4 runs and took 2 wickets to finish with figures of 4-0-20-3.
The Kings XI Punjab batsmen backed up their excellent bowling display with a good performance to reach the total. It was slightly marred by some suicidal running towards the end of the innings which gifted the Royal Challengers a real chance at winning but ultimately the Punjab side prevailed and deservedly took the points.
Marsh and Mandeep Singh once again opened the innings with Mandeep carrying on his excellent form. Mandeep faced much of the strike in the first few overs and showed his aggressive intent as the Kings XI made a brisk start reaching 35 without loss after four overs.
Marsh however looked out of touch and with the exception of one crisp cut stroke was not at his fluent best. He was bowled by McDonald in the 5th over by a ball that nipped back slightly off the seam. It was a good delivery but Marsh also played a poor shot which resulted in his dismissal.
Mandeep was joined by Saini with the pair combining effectively to keep the scoring rate up. They took the Kings XI to 70 by the end of the 8th over with both men scoring freely. The partnership was broken by Appanna who trapped Mandeep, who finished with 43 from 30 deliveries, lbw with the batsmen misjudging a sweep shot.
David Hussey, who has been in excellent form from the moment he took up the captains armband, was the next man in. He continued this form today with a powerful display that, in partnership with Saini, took his side to within touching distance of victory. Both Hussey and Saini were in aggressive mood with their partnership worth 73 run and coming at nearly 10 runs per over.
Hussey was the main contributor and he showed his intent in the 13th over of the innings. Appanna was the bowler and Hussey targeted the Bangalore spinner taking 17 runs from him which included a 4 and consecutive straight 6's. This assault was particularly significant as the result was that after the end of the over the Kings XI required run rate was at 6 per over. With a rate of less than a run a ball on a good wicket Hussey and Saini had put their side in an almost unassailable position.
By the end of the 16th over the Kings XI had reach 146 and required only 13 runs from the final four overs. Saini had brought up his first IPL 50 in the process in a mature display that focused on supporting his captain. He fell to the second ball of the 17th over with a leading edge being caught at mid off as he looked for the boundary, presumably in the hopes of finishing the game quickly to improve the Kings XI net run rate, finishing with exactly 50 runs.
With only 12 required from the final three the Kings XI nearly undid all of their hard work with a display of almost unbelievable ineptitude. The Royal Challengers were forced to bring the field up with so few runs required and this resulted in three run outs. The first, in the 18th over, was Azhar Mahmood who was looking for a second run and was run out by a few centimetres. Hussey was the next man to fall, in the 19th, again looking for a second run and again being just short of his ground.
Panic seemed to set in amongst the Kings XI batsmen as the Bangalore fielders sensed the possibility of a victory and moved in even tighter. Nayar fell the very next ball after Hussey departure as the Punjab batsmen attempted a suicidal single. Kohli was the man who fielded the ball at short cover; making no mistake with his throw at the stumps.
The left the Kings XI requiring 5 from the final over and both batsmen looked anxious at the prospect of scoring the runs. In spite of that Dogra and Chawla, the men at the crease, kept cool heads in the face of some excellent bowling from Vinay Kumar. They took the equation to two runs required from the final two deliveries with Chawla on strike. The Kings XI man made no mistake when Vinay Kumar bowled a good length ball and despatched it over the rope for 6, much to the relief of his on looking team.