IPL 9: Royal Challengers Bangalore escape to victory against Kings XI Punjab

Virat Kohli & Co fashion a thrilling one-run victory over spirited Kings XI Punjab in their own backyard

Mohali: Murali Vijay's captain knock went in vain as Royal Challengers Bangalore snatched a nerve-wracking 1-run win victory over Kings XI Punjab in an enthralling Indian Premier League encounter, here tonight.

Chasing a target of 176, KXIP were cruising along with Vijay smashing 89 off 57 balls but Chris Jordan managed to
hold his nerves as he gave away 15 runs in the final over in which the home team needed 17 runs. The final scorecard was 174 for four.

Needing 4 off the last delivery, Marcus Stoinis (34, 22 balls) could take only two as Virat Kohli was delirious in joy
the moment match finished.

Shane Watson celebrates after taking the wicket of Murali VijayRoyal Challengers Bangalore Shane Watson (C) celebrates the wicket of Kings XI Punjab captain Murali Vijay (R) during their 2016 IPL match at The Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Monday. Pic/AFP

The win takes RCB to sixth position with 8 points from 9 games as they still have a chance of qualifying for play-offs while KXIP with six points from 10 games look all but out of the tournament.

The last four overs saw KXIP requiring 40 runs with Vijay looking in great touch before tragedy struck. It was old warhorse Watson (2/22), who delivered the needful as he dug in a short one and Vijay went for the pull. He could not connect it as Yuzvendra Chahal took a well-judged catch at deep mid-wicket boundary. He hit 12 boundaries and a six. The match just slipped away despite Stoinis cameo.

Hashim Amla (21) and Vijay started on a positive note with the KXIP skipper finding gaps with ease. They added 45 runs before Amla tried to pull Watson as Stuart Binny stationed at the edge of the circle at mid-wicket timed his jump to perfection to take a good catch.

Vijay hit some great shots including a lovely back cut off Watson, an on drive off Binny and a pulled boundary of Chris Jordan. 

When Varun Aaron bowled a fast rising delievry, Vijay used the pace to pull it behind square for a six. Along with Wriddhiman Saha (16), he added 43 runs as the pair ran well between the wickets before trouble struck.

Leg spinner Chahal (2/30) dismissed Saha and an out-of-form David Miller (0) with successive deliveries stumped by KL Rahul. 

While Rahul fumbled a bit when Saha missed trying to give Chahal the charge, he effected a far smoother stumping when the leggie slided one across Miller, who tried playing a defensive prod.

From 88 for 1, KXIP were reduced to 88 for 3 when Vijay tried to take charge as he hit Jordan for a couple of boundaries. 

In the next over, Vijay launched into left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah for a couple of boundaries. In the next over, it was Aaron's turn to be sliced to deep point boundary while Chahal lost his length and was hit a for a couple of more boundaries.

Earlier, South African run-machine AB de Villiers hit a crucially-timed knock of 64 runs to guide Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a healthy 175/6 against Kings XI Punjab in a Indian Premier League (IPL) group phase match here on Monday.

De Villiers was helped in his efforts by Sachin Baby (33 off 29 balls) at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium. Their fourth-wicket partnership of 88 runs from 55 balls found the cornerstone of RCB's strong total.

For Punjab, legbreak bowler K.C. Cariappa picked up two wickets at the top of the innings (2/16) to become their most successful bowler.

RCB began strongly, putting up 56 in the powerplay without losing a wicket.

Openers K.L. Rahul (42) and Virat Kohli (20) batted with consummate ease mixing ones and twos with boundaries to score at a fast clip.

Punjab got a chance to break the momentum early, in the third over when Kohli offered a chance after coming down the track to pacer Mohit Sharma.

Kohli only managed to slice his attempt to backward point where Marcus Stoinis made a hash of the chance.

Rahul was the chief aggressor and added insult to Stoinis's injury by smashing three fours and a huge six of the Australian in the next over.

RCB were moving along nicely and looked like setting up a strong platform for a big score, reaching 61 in seven overs.

But the introduction of leg-break bowler K.C. Cariappa halted RCB's march. He effected a double break in his very first over, off the third and the fifth ball, to account for Rahul and Kohli, respectively.

Rahul's slog sweep attempt resultedin him getting bowled while Kohli played away from his body to offer a catch at short cover. Rahul smashed six boundaries and a six during his 25-ball innings.

Punjab completed a turnaround in the next over with left-arm spinner Axar Patel castling Australian Shane batsman Shane Watson (1) to reduce RCB to 67/3 in nine overs.

The rhythm was snapped, the run-rate dropped, and RCB needed all of de Villiers' experience to pull them up.

De Villers along with Baby guided the team past the 100-run mark in the 14th over.

He launched himself into some free-hitting, carting Sandeep Sharma for a four and a six in the 16th over. Mohit Sharma also received some rough treatment as de Villiers brough up his half-century in 30 balls.

De Villiers customarily hit at least a boundary a six off three consecutive overs from the 15th over, till his dismissal in the 18th, to shoot up his team to 155.

De Villers' 35-ball knock contained five hits to the fence and two over it. He ensured that the team reached a defendable total.

Earlier, Punjab captain Murali Vijay won the toss and chose to bowl against RCB.

Punjab made two changes to the side that beat Delhi Daredevils in their previous game. South Africa all-rounder Farhaan Behardien and seamer Anureet Singh were named in for Glenn Maxwell and Gurkeerat Singh.

Behardien made his IPL debut.

Brief scores:

RCB 175/6 (AB de Villiers 64, Sachin Baby 33, KL Rahul 42; K.C. Cariappa 2/16, Sandeep Sharma 2/49).
KXIP 174/4 (M Vijay 89, M Stoinis 34; Yuzvendra Chahal 1/30, Shane Watson 2-22)

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