Back to winning ways
Kings XI Punjab's seventh loss in as many as eight games has left them needing a miracle to stay in the tournament. Has RCB kicked them out?
Kings XI Punjab's seventh loss in as many as eight games has left them needing a miracle to stay in the tournament [SCORECARD]. Their batting never exploded, the bowlers lacked the venom to stop Royal Challengers Bangalore, and their fielding can be described only as deplorable. Punjab yesterday had yet another forgettable day as they lost the game against Royal Challenger's Bangalore at home.
Royal Challenger's being put to field first on a green top that slowed down as the game progressed looked good and took out Shaun Marsh early, but the joy ended there as Kumar Sangakara and Bisla went about building good platform in quick time. They both were removed in quick succession thanks to some tight bowling by Kumble and self destruction by the Punjabi batsmen. Yuvraj and Bopara built up the momentum but Yuvraj fell just when Punjab needed him to push the score. Pathan came in and provided a small cameo. The batting was pretty good but the only problem is that none of the four top order batsmen who got starts converted it to anything big. The bowling for RCB was good in patches, with Kumble, Vinay Kumar and Steyn bowling well. Praveen Kumar had yet another off day and Kallis with the ball was hit all over the park. There is still much to desired from the bowling department.
The Royal Challenger's ground fielding was very ordinary with brief glimpses of brilliance. The catching was good and the catch Dravid took at slip to dismiss Marsh shows that, but still there is much area for improvement. Comparing to the Kings XI Punjab team's effort at fielding, RCB looked like they had fielded like one of the best sides ever.
The batting for RCB for once revolved not around Kallis. Kallis was dismissed early and Manish Pandey got himself out in the most unfortunate circumstances. Kevin Pietersen came in at three and played his best IPL innings by far. He top scored 66 runs from 44 balls and deservingly got the man of the match award. Virat Kohli promoted up the order also played an innings of vast importance. He scored 42 runs and must have sent some serious message to the selectors for excluding him from the team. Virat and Kevin played slowly to start of and saw some brilliant tight bowling. The asking rate touched double digits due to this, but soon after Virat cut lose and at his fall, Robin Uthappa - the monster entered. With 48 runs needed of 24 deliveries, the two men for the job were at the crease, Robin and Brett Lee. Lee bowled a brilliant over giving away 25 runs and also giving away the match. Lee so far this IPL has had an horrendous run with 111 runs given in three matches so far with no wickets against his name. What is even more frightening is his economy rate of 10.57. I have no doubt that Brett Lee is a class act and will bounce back, but it will all be in vain as Punjab need a miracle to stay afloat in this season of IPL.
It must be said that Bangalore were helped by some sloppy fielding with as many as five catches going down and some straight forward ordinary ground fielding fielding resulting in boundaries. Catches win matches, and that saying has just bitten Punjab hard.
Robin's little cameo of 22 runs from 8 balls sealed the deal for Bangalore. With this win, RCB look like a much better team and are back to winning ways and more importantly closer to a semi-final spot.