Kings XI Punjab demolished Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets for their second successive victory in the Indian Premier League on Monday. An unbeaten 58 from Hashim Amla and a belligerent 43 off just 22 balls by captain Glenn Maxwell piloted Kings XI to 150-2 in just 14.3 overs.
AB de Villiers, playing his first match after recovering from a back injury, hit an electrifying unbeaten 89 off 46 balls, but his late onslaught could lift Royal Challengers to just 148-4. ”It’s been a great start for us and the bowlers set it up for us,” Maxwell said. ”Our bowlers seemed to get something out of this wicket when there was something there.”
Kings XI, who defeated Rising Pune Supergiant in their opener two days ago, made Royal Challengers struggle for runs until de Villiers, replacing Chris Gayle, exploded in the last four overs.
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Royal Challengers had lost three wickets inside the batting powerplay against some superlative bowling by left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who ousted captain Shane Watson in the first over, and medium-pacer Sandeep Sharma, 1-26, who conceded just seven runs in his first three overs.
De Villiers upped the scoring rate appreciably, smashing seven of his nine sixes in the last four overs that included two out of the stadium over mid-wicket.
De Villiers also hit three fours and despite starting slowly, showed his masterful class of playing strokes all around the wicket. He added 80 runs off a mere 41 deliveries with Stuart Binny, who contributed 18 off 20 balls.
”We didn’t start well with the bat and I’m certainly to blame, getting out in the first over,” Watson said. ”We didn’t even execute nicely with the ball. There was a little bit more dew than I thought there would be and it was skidding along more in the second innings.”
Amla and Manan Vohra, 34, took the game away from Royal Challengers with their 62-run opening stand before Vohra was trapped lbw by Tymal Mills in the sixth over.
Mills should have dismissed Amla on 20 in the same over but the ball burst through Billy Stanlake’s hands for six at the fine leg boundary.
Maxwell also profited from Royal Challengers’ fielding lapses after Iqbal Abdulla dropped him at point on 13 as he smashed four sixes, with the last one raising victory for the home team.
It was the second defeat for Royal Challengers in three matches as they still wait for the return of their injured skipper Virat Kohli.
On Tuesday, Rising Pune Supergiant take on Delhi Daredevils at Pune.