Record-Breaking Kings XI March On
Kings XI Punjab 127-5 (Sehwag 32) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 124-8 by 5 wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Dubai
The Kings XI Punjab made it an Indian Premier League record eight victories in a row by beating the Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets in Dubai.
They survived Chris Gayle hitting the first over of the game for 20 and a mid-innings wobble of their own to take a fifth win of the Indian Premier League 2014 season with some ease.
Bangalore collapsed to 67 for five after Gayle's early assault and only recovered sufficiently to post a score of 124 for eight.
Virender Sehwag (32) led the Kings XI response and after a brace of wickets apiece from Varun Aaron and Yuzvendra Chahal threatened to derail their chase, an unbroken stand of 39 between captain George Bailey and Rishi Dhawan saw them home.
In addition to this being an eighth win in a row (following three wins to close last season) they have become the first team to win the first five matches in a season, and they leave the United Arab Emirates unbeaten.
However, when Gayle blasted Glenn Maxwell - an interesting choice to open the bowling - for two fours and two sixes, that record looked like it might come under threat.
Gayle was subsequently bowled by Sandeep Sharma the very next ball, and the medium pacer went on to have Parthiv Patel (2) caught behind and Virat Kohli (4) trapped in front to return three for 15.
Kohli was unfortunate as the ball was heading down the leg-side but he was the only top-order batsman to have a genuine defence for his dismissal.
Yogesh Takawale fell to Mitchell Johnson for a duck and when AB de Villiers was caught by Maxwell off Dhawan for 17, Bangalore were in huge strife at 67 for five.
Yuvraj Singh (35 in 32 balls) and Albie Morkel (15 in 14) at least ensured they would reach three figures before Aaron (11 not out) added a few late lusty blows.
Johnson finished with two for 19, bowling compatriot MItchell Starc for eight, Lakshmipathy Balaji finished with one for 17 by bowling Morkel with Dhawan taking two for 14.
Compared to Gayle's early-innings bravado, Kings XI fairly crawled along when they came to bat, Cheteshwar Pujara (10 in 18 balls) and Sehwag putting on 22 in 4.1 overs.
Their partnership was broken when Pujara was caught by Patel off Ashok Dinda before two stunning catches from Starc put the Kings XI under some pressure.
First, Wriddhiman Saha (2) flicked Aaron to deep square leg only for Starc to make significant ground to his left and take the ball just as it looked as if it was heading over the ropes, also managing to stay inside the boundary himself.
Then, just nine balls later, Maxwell (6) also aimed a shot into the leg-side but this time Starc flung himself forward, taking the ball inches above the ground to give Aaron (2-29) his second wicket.
From 40 for three, Sehwag, who made 32 in 26 balls, and David Miller, who made 26 in 20, took the score to 85 before both fell in the 13th over to Chahal (2-23).
Miller was first to go, well caught behind by Patel, who also claimed a catch to remove Sehwag, although replays suggested the batsman hadn't made contact with the ball.
Fortunately for the Kings XI, they had scored quickly enough to ensure new batsmen Dhawan (23 not out) and Bailey (16 not out) barely needed to move out of first gear to ease them home with seven balls to spare.
They calmly picked up singles and then added a couple of boundaries late on, including the winning hit, from Dhawan off Aaron, to make moe history for the Kings XI.
© Cricket World 2014