RCB ekes out a one-run win

RCB has not conceded less than 171 runs this season of Indian Premier League (IPL). KXIP managed to score 174 for four today but it was two runs short of the target. Shane Watson, who took two wickets for 22 runs, was adjudged man of the match.

Shane Watson (second to right) turned the game around for RCB, dismissing the opposition skipper Murali Vijay (right).   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Needing to prevent Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) from scoring four runs off the last ball, Royal Challengers Bangalore's (RCB) Chris Jordan conceded only two to give his team a one-run triumph over last-placed Kings XI Punjab.

RCB has not conceded less than 171 runs this season of Indian Premier League (IPL). KXIP managed to score 174 for four today but it was two runs short of the target.

Shane Watson, who took two for 22 and conceded only seven runs in the 19th over, was adjudged man of the match.

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When skipper Murali Vijay was around, KXIP appeared to be cruising. But once he was dismissed making a 57-ball 89, RCB's hopes were rekindled. Marcus Stoinis and debutant Farhaan Behardien threatened the Bangalore side with a 35-run partnership but it wasn't enough in the end.

Earlier, AB de Villiers' 35-ball 64 helped RCB make 175 for six after the innings slowed down between the fifth and the 12th over.

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RCB was off to a blistering start with K. L. Rahul smashing a six and six fours in his 25-ball 42. He targeted Stoinis, whose opening over produced 20 runs. RCB was 44 without losing a wicket at the end of the fourth over.

But three wickets in the space of four runs brought KXIP back in the contest. K. C. Cariappa managed to beat an ambitious heave of Rahul to leave the stumps shattered. Two deliveries later, Virat Kohli drove straight into rival skipper M. Vijay at short cover. Shane Watson was bowled after misreading the trajectory of the ball from Axar Patel.

As it turned out, RCB slumped from 44 for no loss in four overs to 85 for three after 12 – the in-between overs producing just 41 runs.

What followed was a counter-attack from de Villiers. De Villiers put on 88 runs with Sachin Baby for the fourth wicket. After 15 overs, with RCB's score reading 111 for three, de Villiers had scored only 25 off 21 deliveries. But he took on Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma, launching them to the stands.

After de Villiers exited, Travis Head and Baby scored quickly to help RCB set a target of 176 despite wickets off the last two deliveries.

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