Yuvraj heroics not enough to deny Bangalore

DURBAN: Kings XI Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh took a hat-trick and slammed a half-century but it was not enough to secure a win for his side in their Indian Premier League match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Kingsmead on Friday.

Instead, feisty South African all-rounder Roelof van der Merwe spurred Bangalore to an eight-run win, hitting 35 off 19 balls, taking two wickets for 22 runs and pulling off a crucial run-out.

Bangalore seemed in desperate trouble at 84 for six after Yuvraj dismissed Robin Uthappa, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher with successive deliveries.

But Van der Merwe chanced his arm and hit three sixes and three fours to enable Bangalore to reach 145 for nine.

Yuvraj, playing on the ground where he hit six sixes in an over for India against England in the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007, opened the batting with Karan Goel and the pair seemed to have put their side well on the way to victory with an opening stand of 70.

But the game changed dramatically when Anil Kumble had Yuvraj caught in deep in the tenth over. Yuvraj made 50 off 34 balls with four sixes and three fours.

Kumble, captaining the Challengers following the return of Kevin Pietersen to England, admitted afterwards: "Another five overs of Yuvy and the game was probably over."

Van der Merwe dismissed Goel in the next over and then ran out Simon Katich with a superb diving stop and quick throw.

The Kings XI were unable to regain their momentum and their target became almost impossible when Van der Merwe had Mahela Jayawardene caught in the covers, leaving Punjab needing 30 off 17 overs.

Struggling with a wet ball, Van der Merwe's over cost 13 runs including four leg byes and a wide, but Kumble bowled Kumar Sangakarra in the next over and Praveen Kumar killed Punjab's hopes with two wickets in the final over.

"We should have won the game but Bangalore bowled well," said Yuvraj, who was named man of the match despite being on the losing side.