Press club Of India, Indian Tehelka News
Fifth consecutive win for the Punjab side; Sandeep Sharma shines again
Kings XI Punjab remained unconquered for the fifth time on the trot in IPL-7 after a five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Dubai Cricket Stadium here on Monday.
If one went by the shoddy displays in the recent past by the Challengers, including the paltry 70 against Rajasthan Royals, there would have been few doubts on the course of this contest. Some rude shocks awaited those who nurtured such thoughts though.
Two splendid catches by Mitchell Starc, patrolling the fine leg/long leg regions, sent back Wriddhiman Saha and Glenn Maxwell, both off the bowling of Varun Aaron. For the first, the Challengers spearhead ran some distance before holding on to the catch. For the next, he leapt forward and low to effect the dismissal of the mighty Maxwell, now vested with superhuman qualities, but strangely without a single boundary this time.
The intellectual-looking Sehwag, with scholarly spectacles in place, calmly oversaw the happenings, but chose not to give in without a fight. To match his new look perhaps, the swashbuckler chose to be sober, venturing rarely into anything adventurous. Fortune did not favour the brave this time, the batsman given out caught behind when the edge appeared improbable.
After Rishi Dhawan’s boundary in the 14th over, the next hit to the ropes came from George Bailey in the 19th, a run-a-ball approach taking the two along. Dhawan’s next blow to the fence off Aaron fetched victory.
With Chris Gayle at the forefront, could the fireworks be far behind? The towering Jamaican mangled Glenn Maxwell’s and the game’s first over, belting two boundaries and two big sixes. The hard-hitting left-hander, however, completely missed the line off a Sandeep Sharma delivery, which crashed into his woodwork.
The Punjab seamer then went for the next most prized scalp, that of Virat Kohli, who was adjudged leg before.
If Sandeep struck from the pavilion, nay dugout end, Mitchell Johnson spewed venom from the other, getting Yogesh Takawale to graze the ball to stumper Saha.
Shortly after, Parthiv Patel fell in identical fashion, but by snicking Sandeep, giving the latter a wicket maiden. A.B. de Villiers patted Dhawan to Maxwell stationed at backward point, who gratefully accepted the catch.
Midway through the innings, the Challengers were still shaky at 69 for five.
The sixth-wicket duo of southpaws Yuvraj Singh and Albie Morkel flattered to deceive — the South African was castled by Balaji.
In a face-off between the Mitchells, Johnson prevailed, rattling the timber.
(From : The Hindu)