Ashwell Prince blazed his way to a 55-ball 74 to help Warriors of South Africa upset Royal Challengers Bangalore in a last-ball thriller in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament in Bangalore on Friday.
Warriors were in doldrums at 82 for four in the 12th over, but man-of-the-match Prince, who batted with gay abandon, played a gutsy knock to steer his side to a stunning victory in front of 20,000 RCB supporters at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
He found an able ally in skipper Johan Botha (42 from 24 balls) to produce a match-winning fifth-wicket partnership
that was worth 73 runs off 39 balls.
Fortunes swung wildly as RCB fought back with the important wickets of Prince and Botha. With 13 needed off seven balls, Boje swung Abhimanyu Mithun for a cracking six over mid-wicket. But when Botha fell, with Warriors needing
eight runs from three balls, RCB were seemingly in charge. But Wayne Parnell, who walked into the cauldron, made light of the gripping tension, scoring the winnings runs.
Set a stiff target of 173, Warriors sneaked home off the last ball, Parnell and Boje scampering for two runs.
Warriors were definitely the better side on the park. They bowled with vigour and verve, fielded with alacrity and
batted with purpose to overcome the stiff RCB challenge.
Prince and Jon-Jon Smuts kept their side in fine fettle at the start of the innings, producing 38 runs in five overs. But
Smut's dismissal, caught brilliantly by Virat Kohli off S Aravind, began an exodus, though Prince dropped anchor to
arrest the steady fall of wickets.
At 82 for four in the 12th over, the game seemed to be slipping out of Warriors' grip. But Prince and Botha
made a fist of the chase, posting a rapid-fire stand for the fifth wicket.
Earlier, useful contributions from the batsmen helped Bangalore post a challenging 172 for eight.
Sent in to bat, RCB got off to a flier despite the early loss of opener Mayank Agarwal, with the big-hitting Chris Gayle going after the bowlers in his customary style from the word go.
After Gayle got out, while trying to hit Parnell after scoring 23 off 14 balls, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers kept the scoreboard moving by playing some effective shots.
While Kohli scored 34 off 29 balls, with the help of four boundaries, de Villiers contributed 31 off 25 and hit two sixes and a four.
Thereafter, Saurabh Tiwary made a breezy 28 that came off only 15 deliveries.
During his whirlwind knock, Tiwary smashed two sixes and as many fours before falling to Nicky Boje.
Earlier, the Warriors were off to a perfect start as Lonwabo Tsotsobe dismissed Agarwal with the fourth delivery of
Gayle amd Kohli then steadied the innings with a 33-run stand before the later got out. Thanks to Gayle's approach, the fifty was up in the sixth over, with the first powerplay producing 57 runs, though, for the loss of two wickets.
However, the partnership that gave RCB the much-needed impetus in the middle overs was the one between Kohli and De Villiers. Their association yielded 52 runs and came off 41 balls, with the team's hundred coming in the 12th over.
After the dismissal of Tiwary, Mohammad Kaif blazed away to a 20-ball 26 during which he hit two sixes and a four
before Rusty Theron cut short his stay at the wicket.
Theron was the most successful bowler with figures of four for 29 in three overs.