The Royal Challengers Bangalore succumbed to their ninth defeat of the season, as they went down to the Kings XI Punjab by 19 runs.
It was another disastrous conclusion for the bottom-dwelling Royal Challengers, who have now gone six matches without a victory. They’ve got to the stage now that they’re only playing for pride, but not even with the pressure off, could they deliver the goods.
What it’s done for the Kings XI Punjab now is give them a realistic chance of making it through to the playoffs. It was their third win in four matches, to go within three points of the Sunrisers Hyderabad. After winning by eight wickets in the reverse fixture, Kings XI have now done the double over RCB.
It’s the batting that has largely let down RCB. Despite being littered with international and local stars, such as Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson, they have simply not delivered the goods. Between the four of them on Friday evening, they scored 19 runs. Kohli hit four centuries last season – this season he has three half-centuries to his name.
The RCB bowlers were on top form as they restricted Kings XI to 138-7, with Aniket Choudhary taking 2-17 from his alloted overs and Yuzvendra Chahal taking 2-21. Axar Patel came to Kings XI aid with 38 off 17, including 18 off the final Shane Watson over.
Sandeep Sharma proved to be the destroyer with the new ball, as he took a wicket in each of his first three overs, that of Gayle (0), Kohli (6) and De Villiers (10), to leave RCB on 37-3.
Mandeep provided some resistance at the top of the order with 46 off 40 balls, but he continued to lose batsmen around him, with the next-highest score being Pawan Negi’s 21 off 23 balls.
Patel put in an excellent all-round performance, backing up his 38 with 3-11, which included the wickets of Shane Watson (3), Kedar Jadhav (6) and Samuel Badree (8) to wrap up the comprehensive victory.
Photo: Ron Gaunt/Cricinfo/IPL