Bengaluru, Oct. 15: The Kings XI Punjab bowlers kept the Royal Challengers Bangalore in check as RCB posted 171/6 in match number 31 of the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
After captain Virat Kohli opted to bat first, the Challengers were kept in check as KXIP picked up regular wickets. Chris Morris and Isuru Udana put their foot on the gas peddle in the last two overs to take RCB to a modest total. While KXIP do have power hitters who can chase down this target with ease, the RCB bowlers have been brilliant this season and can defend this total.
The wicket at Sharjah was a little slower as the batsmen once again struggled to score that big total. After opting to bat, RCB did well in the powerplay as they scored 57/1. But the KXIP bowlers kept the batsmen in check as they failed to build partnerships.
Finding a place in the playing XI, Murugan Ashwin made the most of the game, as he picked up two wickets, giving away just 23 runs.
Captain Virat Kohli, playing in his 200th IPL game for the RCB scored a solid 48 off 39. Questions will be asked as to why AB de Villiers came to bat way down the order and was dismissed on just 2 off 5.
Shami put the brakes on RCB's hopes of piling on the runs as he removed both ABD and Kohli in the 18th over, giving away just four runs. And with that the Challengers hopes of putting up a big total almost diminished. But an explosive innings from Chris Morris and Isuru Udana saw RCB collecting the important runs in the last two overs.
While Shami's previous over was excellent, the final over went for 24 runs as RCB posted a modest 171. Morris' 25 off 8 included one four and three sixes. Despite the slow innings, the power-hitting at the end saw RCB post a modest total against the KXIP.