Late fight but no win for RCB
The Royal Challengers Bangalore almost pulled off a miraculous come from nowhere victory at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday night before the Kings XI Punjab sealed a 4 wicket win off the penultimate ball of the last over.
Earlier it seemed that RCB were about 20 runs short of a par score but their incredible fightback at the end saw KXIP struggle through the last mile of their chase.
Adam Gilchrist sitting out yet another game, David Hussey chose to bowl first having reinforced his bowling with the recently returned Ryan Harris. RCB replaced Tillakaratne Dilshan with Andrew McDonald and Harshal Patel with Asad Pathan.
Praveen Kumar (0/8) bowled his quota unchanged and was hard to put away. Ryan Harris got Mayank Agarwal but was taken off after Chris Gayle (71 off 42b, 4x6, 6x4) got stuck into him in his second over. Virat Kohli (45 off 42b, 4x3, 6x2) and Gayle waited for the second change bowlers and duly feasted when Chawla (1/35 in 3 overs), Awana (0/48) and later Nayar (0/16 in 1 over) came in.
One six by Gayle off Nayar went cleared the roof off the stadium and was measured to be a 111 meter hit. Kohli found some fluency at the other end and they added 119 for the second wicket off 83b before Mahmood returned for a one over second spell and broke their partnership.
Kohli followed off the next over from Chawla and Mahmood (3/20) claimed the wickets of AB de Villiers and McDonald in the final over to keep RCB to 157/6. RCB seemed at least 15 short of the projected total when Gayle and Kohli were firing.
Three good partnerships saw KXIP cruising towards the RCB total at 146/2 in the 17th over when mayhem broke out. Having reached his maiden T20 fifty, Nitin Saini skied one off McDonald (2/25) trying to go for the big shot and was caught by Vettori near mid on. Mahmood was run out in the next over thanks to a good throw from Appanna (1/30) from the deep and excellent keeping from de Villiers. The crowd went ballistic
From 13 needed off 24, the equation had been reduced to 7 off 12. Zaheer bowled a superb penultimate over while AB and Kohli produced two more run outs to dismiss Hussey and Nayar leaving KXIP with 5 needed off the last over. The crowd turned up the noise several notches to go berserk.
Vinay Kumar produced 2 dot balls, the second ball saw him fail to take a terribly hard caught and bowled chance. With 5 needed off 4 when Paras Dogra managed to get bat on ball and the batsmen scampered for 2 runs. He got Chawla on strike off the next ball, 2 needed off 2.
To the dismay of the delirious 35,000 who were threatening to bring down the stadium with their foot stomping and chants of RCB, Chawla swung hard at the length delivery and connected. Well enough to send it over long on for a six and snatch a four wicket win.
KXIP went to 4th with their win while RCB went to 6th but only 1 point separates the two sides. At one point it seemed they were just going through the motions but the fight at the end is a sign that this team does not accept defeat easily and is prepared to fight for every inch. A good sign because that is the mindset they need the most now.