Chris Gayle [ Images ] and AB de Villiers [ Images ] hit half-centuries to carry Royal Challengers [ Images ] Bangalore to an easy five-wicket victory against Kings XI Punjab [ Images ] in the Indian Premier League [ Images ] match, in Mohali, on Friday.
Gayle smashed a quickfire 87 from 56 balls, while de Villiers stroked 52 from 39 balls to help Bangalore reach 166 for five in 19.3 overs in reply to Punjab's 163 for eight in their 20 overs.
Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist [ Images ] missed the match because of injury and his absence was severely felt by his team as the openers were dismissed cheaply.
Electing to bowl first, Bangalore claimed a couple of early wickets through pacer Zaheer Khan [ Images ]. The veteran pacer dismissed opener Nitin Saini for 14 before Paul Valthaty's poor continued as he fell for six.
Shaun Marsh [ Images ] hit a quick 26 from 17 balls before he was bowled by all-rounder Andrew McDonald, who was drafted in the team in place of Tillakaratne Dilshan [ Images ] on a green wicket at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium in Mohali.
South African David Miller also failed to sparkle on his IPL debut and was caught in the covers by Zaheer Khan off McDonald for eight.
Stand-in captain David Hussey [ Images ] kept the scoreboard going from the other end with a steady innings of 41 from 34 balls but the rest of the batsmen failed to provide him enough support.
Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood, who made his IPL debut, came good with the bat to take his team to a healthy total. He smashed 33 from 14 balls as Punjab made most of the final few overs to post 163 for eight, having scored 50 runs in the last five overs.
Pacer Parvinder Awana gave Punjab hopes with his three-wicket burst with the new ball. He started with two wickets in his opening over. Mayank Agarwal was trapped leg before wicket in the second over for one and Virat Kohli's [ Images ] disappointing run continued when he was caught at point after scoring just four.
Saurabh Tiwary [ Images ] also failed with the bat as he top edged a pull shot to be caught at four as Bangalore found themselves in early trouble at 25 for three in the sixth over.
Gayle and de Villiers then set about repairing the damage with some steady batting before unleashing their strokes. The two batsmen put on 131 runs from 75 balls to kill off any hopes Punjab had of winning the match.
The tall West Indian fell in the 18th over when he became Awana's fourth victim of the innings, courtesy of a brilliant diving catch by Hussey in the covers. De Villiers fell in the very next over when he was unlucky to be given out leg before wicket to Piyush Chawla [ Images ].
But by then Bangalore were comfortably placed, needing four runs from the last over for victory.
Andrew McDonald hit the third ball of the final over for a four to take his team to a convincing five-wicket win.
With this win, Bangalore now have six points from six games, while Punjab continue to slip with four points from the same number of matches.