IPL 2018: Umesh Yadav special keeps Royal Challengers Bangalore in playoff race
Umesh Yadav’s three-wicket haul backed by a solid show from spinners helped Royal Challengers Bangalore pummel Kings XI Punjab by 10 wickets in an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 match at the Holkar Cricket Stadium here on Monday. (Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore highlights)
RCB captain Virat Kohli made the perfect call to field after winning the toss as his bowlers hardly put a foot wrong on a wicket that had seen 459 runs being scored a couple of days back. The hosts were bundled out for 88 and RCB, led by openers Parthiv Patel and Kohli, sealed the deal with 71 balls to spare. (Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore scorecard)
The win helped the visitors keep their hopes alive for a spot in the playoffs. For KXIP, this was their fifth loss in the last six games. They have two more matches left and need to win both to book a place in the last four.
Chris Gayle got a lifeline in the very first over of the innings when wicketkeeper Patel dropped him off Umesh. It did help KXIP’s cause to an extent as Gayle and KL Rahul once again guided them get to a good start.
In the second over, Rahul, KXIP’s highest run-scorer (558) this season, pulled a short delivery off Tim Southee over square leg for his first six of the night. Next over, the Karnataka batsman dispatched another short delivery, this time off Umesh, over wide fine leg for a maximum.
But Rahul’s cameo didn’t last long as he was caught at backward square leg by Colin de Grandhomme off the bowling of Umesh after scoring 21.
Three balls later, Gayle (18), who had hit three consecutive boundaries off Tim Southee in the fourth over, became Umesh’s second victim.
Karun Nair (1) also fell in the last over of powerplay. It was a short-of-a-length delivery from pacer Mohammed Siraj, the KXIP No.3 looked to work it towards third man, instead found Kohli at first slip. Within the first six overs, KXIP’s top three run-scorers this year were back in the hut.
Soon, Marcus Stoinis (2), who replaced the injured Mujeeb Ur Rahman, was also back in the pavilion after failing to judge a fuller delivery from leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal that went on to hit his stumps.
In the ninth over, Colin de Grandhomme got the better of Mayank Agarwal (2) to leave the hosts in all sorts of trouble. It was a length delivery from the New Zealander going down leg, Agarwal wanted to flick but nicked it to Patel.
Aaron Finch (26) tried to stabilise the innings but fell to Moeen Ali in the 12th over. The Australian failed to get hold of the slog shot and hit one straight to Kohli at the deep mid-wicket boundary.
Andrew Tye (0) lost his wicket to Umesh while Ashwin (0), Mohit Sharma (3) and Ankit Rajpoot (1) were all run-out as KXIP couldn’t even complete their quota of overs. This was their lowest total at the venue and the joint second lowest overall in the tournament’s history.
In reply, Kohli (48 not out) and Patel (40 not out) made short work of the chase as RCB registered their fifth win in the tournament. They will now look to win their remaining two games and hope the results of the matches of Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and KXIP go in their favour.
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