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Punjab Kings make high flying RCB bite the dust
The former RCBians were on the rampage !!
KL Rahul’s brilliant 91 off 57 balls, Gayle’s devastating 46 off 24 balls and Harpreet Brar’s all-round show (25 off 17 balls, 3/19) powered Punjab Kings to an emphatic 34 runs win over top favourites RCB as the IPL points table suddenly throws up new possibilities IPL 2021.
Punjab was sent in to bat first. Their regular opener Mayank Agarwal had to sit out this match due to an injury niggle and so Rahul opened with young keeper-batsman Prabhsimran Singh who was dismissed early for 7.
The Punjab innings got the much-needed momentum early on from Chris Gayle who put up a great show plundering runs at will against his old franchisee. Following Shaw’s similar hammering of Mavi, the previous evening Chris Gayle brought Kyle Jamieson down to reality, spanking him for 4 successive 4s and 5 in all, in a single over looting 20 runs. Gayle hit Chahal too for 6s and looked in menacing form till a miscue to a short ball got him out for 46 off only 24 balls. Punjab Kings make high flying RCB bite the dust.
Gayle’s dismissal brought RCB back in the reckoning as they managed to stem the flow by getting 4 quick wickets for 19 runs in the next 5 overs after RCB were 99/1 around the 10th over mark. It appeared that Punjab has thrown away an early advantage with Pooran, Hooda and Shahrukh getting out cheaply in quick succession. Pooran bagging another duck.
However, KL Rahul with the help of left-hander Harpreet Brar plundered runs in the last couple of overs to wrest the initiative back to a certain extent putting 179 on the board which was a challenging score. Rahul’s dream run against RCB continued. He was superb in his classy 91 not out off 57 balls with 5 glorious sixes. It was an anchoring knock which exploded at the right time. Brar with 25 not out off 17 balls gave excellent support.
Punjab Kings make high flying RCB bite the dust. The RCB bowling performed in patches. They bowled well in middle overs but could not control the run flow at the back end.
Chasing 180, RCB struggled to find momentum. Meredith reinstated back in the team bowled with raw pace, fast and straight and bowled the dangerous Paddikal with a searing fast delivery, the stumps went cartwheeling as Paddikal shaped to make room.
Kohli and Patidar were struggling to force the pace in the powerplay due to smart bowling by Punjab. Finally, when Harpreet came on with his slow left-arm spin, Kohli (35) released the pressure with a six but was soon castled as he shaped for another lofted shot. Brar’s dream spell continued as he got Maxwell bowled with a ball spinning away and had a struggled De Villiers caught at short cover as AB tried to cut.
That effectively ended RCB’s chances. Both Brar (3/19) and Bishnoi (2/17) bowled outstanding four-over spells which completely bottled up the RCB batting in the middle overs. Later Harshal Patel fired a few shots in his belligerent 31 off 13 balls but that only reduced the defeat margin for RCB to 35 runs .
With this win, Punjab Kings are at the 5th spot. They still have an outside chance for playoffs if they win most of their remaining matches. RCB, who are again bitten by the left-hander’s bug ( Brar after Jadeja destroying them), are still in the top four and they need to win the odd game or two to keep themselves in the running.
Punjab Kings won by 34 runs
PBKS 179/5 (20 Ovs)
Shahbaz Ahmed 1/11
RCB 145/8 (20 Ovs)
Harshal Patel 31(13)
Harpreet Brar 3/19
Ravi Bishnoi 2/17