KXIP lose to the Royal Challengers by six wickets
The Kings XI bowlers began well and had things under control for a major part of the innings, but lost it when Kevin Pietersen and Robin Uthappa turned the heat on towards the end. Bangalore had still a lot of work to do when Virat Kohli was dismissed, but the 17th over that saw Brett Lee leak a baffling 25 runs sealed Kings XI's fate. Subhash Rajta reports. See videocricket Updated: Apr 03, 2010 01:59 IST
If there was one match Yuvraj Singh would have wanted to succeed in at any cost, it had to be this one. Caught in the midst of a torrent of speculation and rumours for the last few days, the left-hander needed his bat to talk, and loudly.
Now, the quick fire 36 he scored off just 20 balls would be far less than what he would have wanted to score on Friday, but the knock was good enough to help Kings XI reach 181.
That they still lost the match by six wickets is quite shocking. The Kings XI bowlers began well and had things under control for a major part of the innings, but lost it when Kevin Pietersen (66 n.o.) and Robin Uthappa turned the heat on towards the end. Bangalore had still a lot of work to do when Virat Kohli (42) was dismissed, but the 17th over that saw Brett Lee leak a baffling 25 runs sealed Kings XI's fate.
Thereafter, it turned out to be a cakewalk for the visitors, with Kevin Pietersen seeing them home in the last over with a superb unbeaten 66-run knock.
What didn't help Kings XI cause was their poor catching and fielding at the crucial moments. They dropped Kohli once, and Pietersen twice. Had Ravi Bopara held on to the catch off Pietersen immediately after the dismissal of Kohli, the result could have been different.
Earlier, desperate to shrug off the poor form he has been struggling with, Yuvraj Singh started on a positive note, flicking the first ball he faced towards square leg for a couple. He then swept Kumble ferociously to the mid wicket boundary, before bringing out those massive sixes against Jacques Kallis and Kumble. The knock, which signaled his return to form, ensured that Kings XI, unlike in the past, didn't lose the momentum in the middle overs. But just when he must have started thinking of changing to a higher gear, he mistimed a stroke off Kallis and was caught at deep midwicket.
What made his effort meaningful were the knocks preceded and followed by the one he played. While skipper Kumar Sangakkara's brisk 45 off just 27 balls helped Kings XI recover from the early loss of Shaun Marsh, the late flourish by Ravi Bopara and Irfan Pathan took them to a fighting total. But then the poor showing in the crunch moments spoiled whatever improvement they had showed in the batting department.