Ahmedabad, April 30
Spinners Harpreet Brar and Ravi Bishnoi were the bowling stars for Punjab Kings as they shocked the star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore by 34 runs in their IPL match here tonight.
Chasing Punjab’s 179 — the cornerstone of which was a brilliant unbeaten 91 by skipper KL Rahul — RCB ended up with 145/8 in 20 overs. Punjab’s third win in seven matches takes them to joint fourth with Mumbai Indians, who however are ahead on net run rate.
At 62/1 after 10 overs, and skipper Virat Kohli batting on 31 off 29 balls, RCB were definitely behind as they needed 118 off the last 10 overs — however, they still were in with a chance. But the first two balls of the 11th over tilted the scales decisively in Punjab’s favour.
Left-arm spinner Brar, in his third over, bowled Kohli with one that kept low; next ball, Glenn Maxwell was bowled as he tried to whip the ball against the turn to the leg-side and lost his off-stump. Brar wasn’t done, however — on the first ball of his next over, AB de Villiers (3) gave a simple catch to Rahul at extra cover. Brar had picked up three wickets in seven balls to leave the RCB innings in ruins at 69/4 in 12.1 overs. Bishnoi took his two lower-order wickets in one over, and at 96/7 in 16 overs, the game was up for RCB.
Earlier, Rahul’s scored a combative unbeaten 91 to lead Punjab from the front.
Rahul and No. 3 Chris Gayle (46 off 24) shared 80 runs but Punjab’s middle order collapsed as No. 7 Brar was the only other batsman to reach double digits.
Rahul and Brar added 61 unbeaten runs for the eighth wicket to rescue the side after the RCB bowlers seized the initiative once Gayle was sent back in the 11th over. Rahul hit seven fours and five sixes in his 57-ball knock, while Brar played 17 balls for his 25 that had two sixes and a four.
Brief scores: PK: 179/5 (Rahul 91*, Gayle 46; Jamieson 2/32); RCB: 145/8 (Kohli 35; Brar 3/19, Bishnoi 2/17). — TNS, Agencies