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IPL Match 50: Punjab deliver Royal Challengers Bangalore a hammer blow

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The Kings XI Punjab might be out of the reckoning as far as a place in the knockout stages of the Indian Premier League goes, but they can still play spoiler before the season ends, and they did just that on Wednesday night at Mohali, stunning the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 22 runs in a rain-effected contest.

The match was reduced to a 10-over a side game before the contest got underway, with the ground staff doing an admirable job of getting the surface dry enough to ensure some cricket could be played. The  Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss and predictably opted to chase.

The Kings XI Punjab had bumped Wriddhiman Saha up to open the innings today, and the move paid rich dividends with the wicketkeeper batsman smashing 31 from 12 deliveries to give his side a superb start.

Each of Punjab's top six got into double figures, but given the duration of the game, their pursuit for quick runs saw them lose their wickets just when they got sit. David Miller impressed with a quickfire 14 from 4 balls, while Axar Patel kept the runs flowing towards the end, finishing unbeaten on 20 from 15 after all the big guns had departed and cool heads were required.

The Kings XI Punjab finished with 106-6 from their 10 overs, a competitive total, but not necessarily one that would intimidate a line-up that included Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.

Kohli was the first of Bangalore's big 3 to hit his straps, racing to 19 from 9 deliveries before he dragged an Anureet Singh delivery back onto his stumps. Gayle was caught out by Sandeep Singh's bouncer, out for 17 from 14 deliveries.

AB de Villiers too got a start, making 10 from 9 before Axar Patel had him caught at short fine-leg, and suddenly the game was Punjab's too lose.

For a team that has struggled to close out matches with the ball this season, Kings XI did really well in the second half of the Bangalore innings, taking wickets at regular intervals to restrict RCB to 84-6 from their 10 overs.

Axar Patel was particularly impressive with the ball, taking 2-11 from his 2 overs, while Beuran Hendricks took 1-9 also from his full quota.

The result doesn't really do much for Kings XI's fate as the league's basement dwellers, but it does give RCB a rude awakening, leaving them outside the top 4 as things stand with 13 points from 12 games. RCB's last two games are against the Chennai Super Kings and the Delhi Daredevils, and the outcome of those matches will decide their fate in IPL Season 8.

Teams:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Sandeep Singh, Davide Wiese, Mitchell Starc, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sreenath Aravind

Kings XI Punjab: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Manan Vohra, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, George Bailey (c), Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh, Axar Patel, Beuran Hendricks, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma

Mini Scorecard:

Kings XI Punjab 106/6 (10 overs, 10.6rpo)

W Saha 31 (12) H Patel 2-12 (2)

A Patel 20 (15) Y Chahal 2-25 (2)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 84/6 (10 overs, 8.4rpo)

M Singh 20 (14) A Patel 2-11 (2)

V Kohli 19 (9) A Singh 2-21 (2)

Kings XI Punjab won by 22 runs