The Royal Challengers Bangalore completely choked during their match against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah as they were in a prime position to win the game comfortably before things started to go horribly wrong, which ultimately led to the Knight Riders walking away with a narrow two-run victory.
Australia batsman Chris Lynn proved to be the hero for Kolkata as he not only scored 45 runs, but also took a stunning catch to dismiss South Africa batsman AB de Villiers at a crucial point in the match.
Bangalore captain Virat Kohli could not have asked for a better start when choosing to bowl first as Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir was given out lbw for a golden duck off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.
Manish Pandey only made five runs before he was caught by Kohli at cover point off the bowling of Albie Morkel.
Lynn and Jacques Kallis stabilised the innings with a much-needed 80-run partnership before Lynn was caught by de Villiers at long-off off the bowling of Varun Aaron.
Lynn’s solid knock of 45 came off 31 balls and included three boundaries and three sixes.
Aaron struck again just two balls later when Yusuf Pathan was caught by Kohli at mid-off.
Kallis ended up making 43 off 42 deliveries, which included two boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Yogesh Takawale at deep extra cover off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Robin Uthappa made a quickfire 22 before he was caught by Starc at deep midwicket to become Aaron’s third victim of the match.
Vinay Kumar only scored four runs before he was caught by Morkel at short fine leg off the bowling of Starc.
The Knight Riders eventually finished on 150/7 off their 20 overs thanks to Suryakumar Yadav’s unbeaten knock of 24.
Aaron was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Starc snapped up two and Morkel and Chahal chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 151 to win, Bangalore got off to an outstanding start as their opening pair of Parthiv Patel and Takawale amassed a 67-run partnership before Takawale was given out lbw off the bowling of Kallis for 40.
Patel went on to make 21 before he was caught by Lynn at cover off the bowling of Vinay Kumar.
Kohli and Yuvraj Singh got the innings back on track with a 55-run partnership before Kohli was clean bowled by Sunil Narine for 31.
Singh ended up making 31 as well before he was caught by Pathan at deep point off the bowling of Umesh Yadav.
Needing nine runs off the last over to win, Bangalore managed to make three runs of the first three balls before Lynn took a cracker of a catch at deep midwicket to dismiss de Villiers for 11.
Bangalore only made three runs off their last two balls, which left them two runs short of their target.
Vinay Kumar was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Yadav, Narine and Kallis claimed one wicket each.
Gambhir was ecstatic with his team’s performance, and said: “It was an incredible win. We deserved some luck too as we have had a number of these last ball finishes. Once the ball got a little old, it was difficult to hit. Chris scored useful runs, so did Surya. So we had it in mind that once the ball got that old, we had a chance. We were scratchy with the bat and with the ball, so we need to improve on those areas. The catch was unbelievable and Chris deserved the man of the match for that catch.”
Kohli was disappointed at having lost the game from such a strong position, and said: “We lost that game rather than KKR winning that one. We played some really good cricket to restrict them to a total, we built partnerships, but messed up the game in the last few overs.”
Lynn was named Man of the Match, and said: “I slipped and I thought if i stood up and dropped the catch, it would look very silly, so I just stayed down.”