IPL 2012: Kings XI Survive Late Drama To Beat Bangalore
Kings XI Punjab 163-6 (Saini 50) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 158-5 by 4 wickets
Indian Premier League 2012, Bangalore
Piyush Chawla hit the penultimate ball of another Indian Premier League 2012 last-over thriller for six as the Kings XI Punjab survived a huge scare to beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore by four wickets.
Chasing 159 to win, the visitors looked set to cruise home before three batsmen were run out in eight balls but they held their nerve to jump from eighth to fourth in the table.
Chris Gayle had earlier smashed 71 in 42 balls but despite some of their bowlers taking severe punishment and moments of madness towards the end of their innings, the Kings XI were deserved victors.
After they won the toss and chose to bowl first, Praveen Kumar delivered an accurate, testing first over that saw just one run from it and Ryan Harris followed it up by bowling Mayank Agarwal (7) one ball after he had been hit over cover for six. It was the perfect riposte from the bowler, making his first appearance of the 2012 season.
Kumar bowled his four overs straight through, conceding just eight runs but having survived his spell, Bangalore began to score quickly through Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli.
Gayle hammered the tournament's biggest six - measured at 111 metres - on his way to a belligerent 71 in 42 balls, an innings that also included three more sixes and six fours, having been dropped twice early in his innings.
A welcome return to some sort of form for Kohli was a huge boost to Bangalore and he played some good strokes before he was bowled by Piyush Chawla for 45 in 42 deliveries.
AB de Villiers (17) and Andrew McDonald (9) then fell to Azhar Mahmood, who had earlier removed Gayle, before Asad Pathan and Saurabh Tiwary closed the innings by scoring two and one not out respectively.
Mahmood gave the Kings XI Punjab a fighting chance of staying in the game with his figures of three for 20 - although Kumar's wicketless spell earlier in the day was no less impressive.
Kings XI made a steady start with the bat, losing Shaun Marsh for eight when he was bowled by compatriot Andrew McDonald.
Mandeep Singh (43 in 30 balls) and Nitin Saini (50 in 36) then came together, Mandeep hitting six fours and a six in an enterprising innings but he fell just after a strategic timeout when he was trapped in front by left-arm spinner KP Appanna.
In the 13th over, with Bangalore just about holding the edge, Appanna was savaged by David Hussey, who in three balls hit him for a four and two sixes to put the match back in the balance.
When Asad Pathan was brought on to bowl the 16th over, Hussey greeted him by hitting him over the sightscreen for another maximum as the Kings XI raced towards victory.
Saini then brought up his half-century, Hussey hit another six and that, to all intents and purposes, was that. However, Saini fell to McDonald, Mahmood was run out for one and Hussey fell the same way for a fine 45 in 29 to set up a tense finish.
It left Abhishek Nayar and Paras Dogra needing five to win in eight balls and Nayar (2) was next to go when he was run out as Dogra took off for an impossible run out to Kohli. Three run outs in eight balls pointed to the visitors sense of panic and desperation to close the game quickly.
Nayar and Piyush Chawla needed to score five from the final over, bowled by Ranganath Vinay Kumar. A dot ball was followed by a sharp chance back to the bowler which was put down and then a couple of runs to Dogra (3 not out) to deep cover, leaving three from three required.
Next was another single and Chawla won the game in style by carving Kumar over midwicket for a handsome six. His only scoring strike was the winning one.
© Cricket World 2012