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PICS: Kings end losing run with last-ball win over RCB

Last updated on: October 16, 2020 00:15 IST
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Images from Thursday's IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab, in Sharjah.

Chris Gayle with KL Rahul

IMAGE: Kings XI Punjab batsmen Chris Gayle and K L Rahul celebrate a six during their match-winning partnership against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL match, in Sharjah, on Thursday. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Kings XI Punjab finally tasted success after five straight defeats, beating Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight wickets off the last ball in the Indian Premier League match, in Sharjah, on Thursday.

 

The heroes of the victory were skipper K L Rahul (61 off 49), Mayank Agarwal (45 off 25) and Chris Gayle (53 off 45), who all came good in a must-win match for the Kings to stay in the reckoning for a play-off berth.

K L Rahul

IMAGE: Kings XI skipper K L Rahul dispatches one to the boundary. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Chasing 171 for victory, Kings XI looked like choking at the death, like in earlier matches, but Nicholas Pooran hit the winning runs of the last ball after Gayle, playing his first match this season, was run-out after a brilliant knock with the scores tied at 171 off the penultimate delivery.

The run chase was straightforward after Agarwal took the opposition to the cleaners in the powerplay.

Rahul and Gayle then held sway, the 41-year-old West Indian, batting at three, blazing away after early calm in their 97 runs stand off 71 balls.

Nicholas Pooran celebrates while KL Rahul looks on as Kings XI win off the last ball

IMAGE: Nicholas Pooran celebrates while K L Rahul looks on as Kings XI victory. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Needing seven off the last two overs, with nine wickets in hand, Kings were extended to the last ball, Pooran hitting the winning six.

While Rahul and Gayle's knocks were studded with five sixes each, Agarwal had three in his.

Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered their third defeat in eight outings.

Royal Challengers Bangalore's Chris Morris hits out during the IPL match against Kings XI Punjab, in Sharjah, on Thursday.

IMAGE: Royal Challengers Bangalore's Chris Morris hits out during the IPL match against Kings XI Punjab, in Sharjah, on Thursday. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Earlier, Kings XI Punjab finally put up a disciplined effort with the ball to restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore to 171 for 6.

Skipper Virat Kohli top-scored with 48 off 39 balls in his 200th game for the Royal Challengers, but it was Chris Morris's 25 off 8 in the death overs that took the team to a competitive score.

The final over, bowled by Mohammad Shami, went for 24 runs and could well prove to be the difference on a pitch that is not the batting beauty it was at the start of the tournament.

Aaron Finch is bowled by Murugan Ashwin

IMAGE: Aaron Finch is bowled by Murugan Ashwin. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

Notwithstanding Shami's wayward 20th over, it was an improved bowling effort from a team that has been leaking runs in the death overs game after game.

The Kings conceded only 25 runs from over 16-19 before Morris and Isuru Udana hammered Shami for three sixes.

After Kohli chose to bat, the Kings experimented by opening the bowling with Glenn Maxwell (0/28 in 4 overs). He was slog-swept by his Australian teammate and close friend Aaron Finch on the final ball of the over.

The other opener, Devdutt Padikkal (18), also went for his shots, his best hit of the night being a whip off Shami that went for a six over deep square leg.

Kings XI Punjab's players celebrate after Arshdeep Singh dismisses Devdutt Padikkal

IMAGE: Kings XI Punjab players celebrate after Arshdeep Singh dismisses Devdutt Padikkal. Photograph: BCCI/IPL

However, both Padikkal and Finch could not build on their starts. The former was foxed by a slower one from left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh and caught at cover, while Finch missed a fast leg-break from Murugan Ashwin, leaving Royal Challengers in a spot of bother at 62 for two in the seventh over.

With Kohli looking good at the other end, AB de Villiers was expected to come in at his usual number four spot, but with two leg-spinners in operation, left-handed batsman Washington Sundar was sent ahead of the South African.

The move did not work, as he struggled for 13 off 14 balls.

The Kings, whose bowling has been the weakest link, did rather well from 11 to 14 overs, conceding just 20 runs, to put pressure on the opposition.

Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of AB de Villiers

IMAGE: Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of AB de Villiers.Photograph: BCCI/IPL

The Royal Challengers needed to move on and southpaw Shivam Dube provided the timely strike, dispatching Ravi Bishnoi for consecutive sixes to amass 19 runs from the over.

Following Dube's dismissal in the 15th over, De Villiers finally joined Kohli for the late assault. However, the South African could score just 2 off 5 balls, before being dismissed by Shami.

It was left to Morris to boost the total and he did it in style, hitting three sixes in his eight-ball 25 to give the Royal Challengers a fighting total.

Earlier, Royal Challengers named an unchanged side while Kings XI included Chris Gayle for the first time this season and handed a debut cap to Deepak Hooda.

Ashwin was also included in the Punjab side. The three players replaced were an injured Mandeep Singh, Prabhsimran Singh and Mujeeb Zadran.

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