AHMEDABAD, MAY 01
Royal Challengers Bangalore missed a chance to return to the top of the Indian Premier League when they were blown away by Punjab Kings by 34 runs on Friday.
Bangalore, chasing 180 to win, started slowly in the face of tight bowling. But its legs were cut out from under by left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar, who bowled Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell in successive balls and dismissed AB de Villiers, all in the span of seven deliveries.
Bangalore was 69-4, and out for good when Ravi Bishnoi took two wickets in two balls to reduce it to 96-7 in the 16th over.
The high-fliers finished on 145-8 in reply to Punjab's 179-5, which lifted that side to fifth place.
Punjab got a great innings from skipper Lokesh Rahul, who carried his bat for 91 not out off 57 balls, after a typically dashing start by Chris Gayle with 46 off 24.
But this was a show by Brar, who finished with Rahul on 25 not out, added 3-19, and a catch.
"I didn't feel anything about being hit for six because a bowler always has a chance to come back. So I knew I could come back," Brar said. "My first IPL wicket is Virat and that helps. Your body opens up, you get confident, and things fall into place."
Gayle joined Rahul at 19-1 in the fourth over, and unleashed against Kyle Jamieson's loose deliveries in the sixth with five boundaries to end the powerplay.
After a couple of sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal, Gayle was out in the 11th over after a nick of his glove at 99-2.
Rahul was on 43, started the last over on 76, and hit medium-pacer Harshal Patel for a six over fine leg and two boundaries.
Brar completed the 22-run last over with a six over the square leg boundary.
A good total was too imposing for Bangalore, especially after a tepid start at six runs an over.
When Brar got Kohli to miss a ball which went low, hit Maxwell's off stump next ball, and de Villiers mistimed his shot, Bangalore was 69-4 and in deep trouble.
It was game over when legspinner Bishnoi struck twice in two balls with more than four overs to go. A late flurry of runs from Patel merely delayed Punjab's third win in seven matches.