RCB v KXIP Player of the Match: Sandeep Sharma

The medium pacer bamboozled the three potential match-winners in Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle, enabling a victory for Kings XI Punjab.

Sandeep Sharma jumps in the air to celebrate one of his three wickets.   -  PTI

Three strikes, and the major damage was done. Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma tilted the contest heavily in favour of his side, Kings XI Punjab, when he dismissed the famous trio of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle, who scored 16 runs between them. Royal Challengers Bangalore was eventually bowled out for 119, courtesy of a team performance by Kings XI bowlers. But considering the match-winning capabilities of the three top-order batsmen, Sandeep’s efforts deserve more consideration.

All three walked down the wicket to Sandeep, and paid the price. Chris Gayle managed an outside edge to the point fielder, the captain Virat Kohli was bowled, and AB de Villiers’ outside edge was snaffled by the wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. All of these deliveries swung appreciatively. If walking down the track was a ploy employed to negate swing, it backfired spectacularly.

Among Sandeep’s peers, Mohit Sharma, Axar Patel and Glenn Maxwell shared the remaining spoils.

But perhaps a victory may not have been possible with Sandeep’s contributions, as Kings XI had only 138 to defend.

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