Bengaluru, Oct. 15: Two needed from 6 for a win. But Kings XI Punjab once again took it down to the last ball.
KL Rahul-led Punjab needed 1 off 1 for a win and Nicholas Pooran smashed the final ball for a six as Kings XI Punjab picked up their second win of the season at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
After being in control throughout, the Punjab team who have choked in most of their matches this season, managed to secure a win as they beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets in match number 31 of the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
After opting to bat, RCB did not fire with the bat as they put up 171 for 6 on the board. But the RCB bowlers weren't able to defend the total, as Gayle and captain Rahul made the chase look easy. But only till the last over.
At one point it looked like they would wrap it up in the 18th over, but they once again kept it till too late, and almost took the game to another Super Over. With this win, the KXIP have completed a double over the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both their wins this season have come against RCB.
After the bowlers kept the RCB batsmen in check, Punjab openers Mayank Agarwal and Rahul gave the team a strong start. Mayank and Rahul laid the foundation for a win as they scored 78 off 48 for the opening stand.
With Chahal ending the opening stand, ending Mayank's blistering innings, in walked Chris Gayle. Gayle played his first match of the season and he stamped his authority immediately. The Universe Boss scored a classy 53 off 45 as he guided KXIP to only their second win of the season. Skipper Rahul, who has been phenomenal this season, remained unbeaten on 61 off 49.
Gayle and Rahul's partnership of 93 off 71 all but sealed the win for the side. But as has been the story for Punjab, they once again dragged it down to the last ball. Needing just two to win in the final over, Yuzvendra Chahal did well to restrict the duo and with Gayle being run out KXIP was once again staring at a super over. But Nicholas Pooran facing his first ball of the game, and the last ball of the match, did well to send it for a six as KXIP notched their second win.
The Punjab side is turning out to be RCB's nemesis, as the Challengers who are on the top half of the table, once again fell to the Punjab side.
Earlier, the Kings XI Punjab bowlers kept the Royal Challengers Bangalore in check as RCB posted 171/6.
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 peddle in the last two overs to take RCB to a modest 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. But with the likes of Gayle and Rahul in the Punjab side, the bowlers failed to defend the total.
With this win the KXIP managed to keep their campaign alive, but they still remained at the bottom of the table with just four points from eight matches. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli's side remained on the third position with 10 points from eight games.