Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The Kings XI Punjab have yet to lose a match in this year’s IPL after they cruised past the Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets in Dubai.
Punjab captain George Bailey would have been beaming from ear to ear with his decision to bowl first after Bangalore lost their top four batsmen for just 26 runs.
Sandeep Sharma was the main culprit behind Bangalore’s top order collapse as he took three out of the four wickets.
AB de Villiers managed to slow down the flurry of wickets with his knock of 17, but he eventually succumbed to the pressure of Punjab’s bowlers and was caught by Glenn Maxwell at backward point off the bowling of Rishi Dhawan.
Albie Morkel scored 15 runs before he was clean bowled by Lakshmipathy Balaji.
Yuvraj Singh smashed a quickfire 35 before he was caught by David Miller at deep midwicket off the bowling of Dhawan.
Mitchell Starc only made eight runs before he was clean bowled by Mitchell Johnson.
Bangalore eventually finished on 124/8 off their 20 overs.
Sharma was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Johnson and Dhawan snapped up two wickets apiece and Balaji chipped in with one.
Chasing 125 to win, Punjab got off to a horrible start as well as they lost their top three batsmen for 40 runs.
Miller stabilised things with his knock of 26 before he was caught behind off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Virender Sehwag was the standout performer with the bat for Punjab as he scored 32 runs before he was also caught behind off the bowling of Chahal.
However, it was all Punjab from that point on as Bailey scored 16 runs and Dhawan mustered 23 runs to lead their side to a five-wicket win over Bangalore.
Chahal and Varun Aaron snapped up two wickets apiece, while Ashok Dinda took one wicket.
Bangalore captain Virat Kohli was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “When you lose momentum in this format, it is difficult to come back. In these two matches, we have tried different things and they haven’t come off. I’ve told Chahal and Aaron to keep attacking all the time.”
Bailey was pleased to keep Punjab’s perfect record intact, and said: “Confidence is a really big thing, we are working well as a unit. Low totals can be tricky, but with Viru in the middle, you know you’ll get the boundaries.”
Sharma was named Man of the Match, and said: “I’m feeling lucky that I’m winning back-t0-back Man of the Match awards, I’m feeling awesome. I’ve seen Gayle playing many times, hitting many other bowlers, it was an awesome moment (to get him bowled).”