Sandeep Sharma catalyses RCB collapse as KXIP sneaks home by 19 runs

Royal Challengers Bangalore stumbled to its ninth loss of the season when it was bowled out for 119, chasing 139.

Sandeep Sharma accounted for the key wickets of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.   -  PTI


Royal Challengers Bangalore bit the dust yet again as it crashed to a 19-run loss to Kings XI Punjab at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday. Mandeep Singh – persisted with regardless of a wretched run – played the lone hand scoring 46 runs, with just two more batsmen reaching doubles figures.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

After Sandeep Sharma (4-0-22-3), who plucked three wickets in the PowerPlay against Delhi Daredevils in the last match, accounted for the batting trinity of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and A.B. de Villiers, there was little fizz left.

Sandeep bowled an accurate line and troubled the batsmen with swing. That Kohli and de Villiers both fell while charging down, perhaps to negate the swing, should tell how good he was. Then Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma and Glenn Maxwell strangled RCB to leave no escape route.

Earlier, the home side, after electing to field, brought in Chris Gayle and Samuel Badree for Travis Head and Adam Milne while Kings XI was unchanged. The pitch, and some disciplined bowling, ensured that Kings wouldn't do much to alter the template which has played out in the PowerPlay overs here this season.

Hashim Amla was caught behind in the very first over off Aniket Choudhary. His partner Martin Guptill, after lifting a ball through the covers once for four, was out caught at sweeper cover trying another. Only 35 runs were scored for the loss of two wickets in the first six overs.

Shaun Marsh and Manan Vohra both got starts but failed to build. Marsh greeted Shane Watson with a gorgeous drive through cover and followed it up with a deft cut past short third man. Just when it seemed he had read the pitch right, he tried to bludgeon Pawan Negi on the up and was caught at long off.

It was a shot not made for the pitch and overs later Vohra repeated the mistake. After having lofted Negi for a six over long on, an attempted slog sweep off Yuzvendra Chahal ended up in A.B. de Villiers' hands in the same area. Wriddhiman Saha nudged his way to 21 runs even as Maxwell played the unorthodox, trying to reverse sweep.

The two were aided in no small measure by some abysmal wicketkeeping by Kedhar Jadav. He first failed to stump Saha when on one and then conceded four byes twice in a single Chahal over. Maxwell, though, perished trying one sweep too many.

At 84 for five from 15 overs, RCB had the match well under control. That it still managed to concede 54 from the last five overs should rankle the side. This, in spite of Aniket bowling a wicket-maiden in the penultimate over. Axar took on Watson as 19 runs were scored in 20th. It lent the total more than a shade respectability which in the end proved match-winning.

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