IPL: Courtesy Chawla, Kings XI clinch a thriller against RCB

Bangalore: Piyush Chawla held back his nerves and hit a superb six off the second last ball of the match to give Kings XI Punjab a thrilling four-wicket win against Royal Challengers Bangalore in an IPL encounter at the Chinnaswamy stadium here on Wednesday.

Punjab, who were well placed for a convincing win, made a mess out of the match as they ran themselves out thrice in a span of eight balls in a bizarre fashion and that brought Bangalore back into the reckoning in the last over. However, Chawla’s six not only won the match for Punjab, but also propelled them to fourth position on points table.

Chasing a modest target of 159, Kings XI coasted to victory despite three sensational run outs in the slog overs, transforming a dull contest into an exciting finish as fortunes of both the teams fluctuated till the last over.

The last-minute win also made Kings XI avenge their defeat by five wickets back home at Mohali April 21 when RCB surpassed a 164-run target in the last over, with three balls to spare.

Barring opener Shaun Marsh, Kings XI top order, including opener Mandeep Singh (43), Nitin (50) and skipper David Hussey (45) faced no difficulty in cruising to the target before some excellent fielding by Royal Challengers brought life into a tame game with three consecutive run outs.

After Marsh was bowled by Andrew McDonald for eight runs, Saini joined opener Mandeep to steady the innings and accelerate the score to 73 in the ninth over.

Hussey, Azar Mahmood (2) and Abhishek Nayar (2) were run out in a space of two overs.

Royal Challengers McDonald was the most successful bowler with two wickets while Appanna took one wicket.

Earlier, put to bat, Royal Challengers struggled to hit a modest 158 for five wickets in their stipulated 20 overs despite a scintillating knock by their explosive other opener Chrish Gayle (71) in the company of Virat Kohli, who made a valuable 45 in 42 balls with two sixes and three fours.

Though opener Mayank Agarwal made a promising start by hitting Ryan Harris for a six of his first ball in the second over, his wicket cart-wheeled in the third ball.

In spite of being in form, Gayle took longer time to settle down and get his eye on the ball before opening up to hit four sparkling sixes and six fours to score 71 in 42 balls. One of his six over the long on is the longest in this tournament touching 111 metres.

Tight bowling and excellent fielding by Kings XI restricted Gayle and Kohli from converting singles into twos and twos into threes though they managed to take the score 126 in 16th over after building

Taking advantage of the conditions, seamer Praveen Kumar choked both the batmen with a fine spell of bowling, giving away just eight runs in four overs.

Pakistan-born Azar Mahmood, however, was the most successful bowler of Kings XI claiming three wickets of Gayle, AB de Villiers (17) and AB McDonald (9), conceding 20 runs in four overs. He was declared man of the match. (IANS)