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Cricket | Indian Premier League 2018

RCB demolish Punjab by 10 wickets



Royal Challengers Bangalore stormed to a convincing 10-wicket victory, with all of 71 deliveries to spare, over Kings XI Punjab in Monday's key Indian Premier League fixture at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.

Full Scorecard: Punjab v Bangalore

The low-scoring match spanned a mere 23.2 overs - and kept Bangalore in seventh position in the eight-team standings. Punjab moved down to fifth spot. Both teams remain in contention for a playoff berth.

Mindful of the need for a better net run-rate, Bangalore successfully pursued a modest 89-run target in just 8.1 overs. Captain Virat Kohli struck a commanding 48 not out from 28 deliveries to fellow opener Parthiv Patel's unbeaten 40 from 22 - and recorded 500 runs in an IPL season for the fifth time.

The longevity of the triumphant skipper's stay, though, required mid-off fielder Aaron Finch's dropped catch and the survival of an lbw review.

Kings XI's failed defence was hampered by the absence of Afghanistan legspinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who was sidelined by injury.

FINCH THE BACKBONE OF FRAGILE LINE-UP

Earlier, Kohli's decision to bowl first was entirely justified, as the home side slipped from a promising 36 without loss to a poor 88 all out in 15.1 overs. The final score would have been substantially less, too, had Patel not dropped Chris Gayle on zero.

Seamer Umesh Yadav (three for 23) starred, removing Gayle and fellow opener KL Rahul during an impressive first spell, before returning late in the innings to get rid of allrounder Andrew Tye. Yadav's 17 wickets are the third-most this year's IPL, behind only Tye's 20 and Mumbai star Hardik Pandya's 18.

Finch was the backbone of an otherwise fragile middle order, gathering a standalone 26 - almost 30 percent of the hosts' small tally.

He severely lacked support, as batsmen three, five, six, seven and eight shared just 13 runs. Three lower-order run-outs, meanwhile, typified Punjab's woe.

Punjab and Bangalore met earlier in the tournament when the latter triumphed by four wickets, thanks largely to brisk cameos from South African stars Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers - and three telling wickets for Yadav. Head-to-head, since 2014, Punjab and Challengers have each won five times.

Tuesday will bring another important clash between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals at Eden Gardens.


KINGS XI PUNJAB: Lokesh Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (capt), Andrew Tye, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Parthiv Patel (wk), Moeen Ali, Virat Kohli (capt), AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal



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