Royal Challengers pull off thrilling win over Kings XI

May 2nd, 2009 - 2:12 am ICT by IANS  

Jesse Ryder Durban, May 2 (IANS) Yuvraj Singh’s brilliant all-round display and the first hat-trick of the Indian Premier League (IPL) II was of no avail as Bangalore Royal Challengers pulled of a thrilling eight-run victory over Kings XI Punjab at the Kingsmead here Friday.
Chasing a target of 146 runs, Kings XI were restricted to 137 for seven despite an all-round performance of their skipper Yuvraj Singh, who scored an breezy 50 after claiming a hat-trick.

New captain Anil Kumble brought some luck for the Royal Challengers, for whom this was their second successive and third win overall in seven matches.

Kings XI needed 17 runs off the last 12 balls but Kumble bowled a brilliant 19th over, giving away just four runs for a wicket to tighten the noose around the Punjab team. Praveen Kumar then bowled a clever four-run last over to script an excellent win for the Royal Challengers.

After winning the toss, Kumble decided to bat but his decision backfired as the top three batsmen were back in the dugout with just 38 runs on the board. Shreevats Goswami (2), who had scored a match-winning 43 against Knight Riders, failed to fire while Jesse Ryder (10) continued with his woeful form.

Irfan Pathan was a miser (2-19) while Yusuf Abdulla (4-36) got to swing the ball both ways to trouble the Punjab batsmen. But the real star for Kings XI was Yuvraj, who picked up Jacques Kallis (27), Robin Uthappa (19) and Mark Boucher (2) off successive deliveries to put Royal Challengers in a spot of bother.

It took a cameo from Roelof Van der Merwe to bail out Royal Challengers and put a competitive total on the board. The South African all-rounder hit a 19-ball 35 that was studded with three fours and as many sixes.

While chasing, Kings XI were on course with Yuvraj and Karan Goel (20) setting up a 70-run first wicket stand. Yuvraj promoted himself up the order in place of Ravi Bopara, who has left for home, and struggled initially against a clever Praveen Kumar but was merciless on Ryder and Van der Merwe. Yuvraj hit four sixes and three fours in his 34 ball innings before being dismissed by Kumble.

Kings XI, like other teams in the IPL, fell victim to the strategic time-out break and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. In the last 10 overs, Kings XI lost five wickets. Kumar Sangakkara (17) and Mahela Jayawardene (19) tried to get some runs but their efforts were not enough.

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