Kings XI proved true their name as they became the King of UAE leg winning all the 5 matches they played, ahead of Super Kings who could win 4 matches, losing 1. In a match that was waiting to see the show down between the batting giants of both sides, it was the bowlers of both teams who stole the show and ultimately Sandeep Sharma’s excellent bowling earned him the second consecutive player of the match award as he led his team to emphatic win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, who ended their UAE leg with 2 wins and 3 consecutive losses. Overall, as predicted in preview, Gayle failed and in the end Kings XI won comfortably.
Player of the Match: Sandeep Sharma
Riding high on his his Player of the match performance in the last match against KKR where he had 3/21, Sandeep Sharma chose a better team to improve his performance. He bowled three consecutive overs and changed the fate of the match from an expected high-scoring match to a bowler’s match.
He bowled the 2nd, 4th and 6th over of the game. When he came for his first over, Gayle has already got to a flying start hitting Maxwell for 20 runs in the first over of RCBs inning. He bowled his first ball to Parthiv Patel, who got an easy single. His second ball was his first to Chris Gayle, who was already on rampage after his much-awaited return, and that proved to be the last ball of Gayle as he was bowled. Sandeep was not satisfied though. After being hit for a boundary on next ball, on his 4th ball he had Kohli leg before wicket. His first over read 1 over 5 runs 2 wickets, the wickets that changed the match.
In his second over after bowling 4 dot balls to Parthiv Patel he got him caught behind on fifth and with another dot ball to Yuvraj, he completed his second maiden of the season, the last one he bowled against KKR in the last match.
In the third over Yuvraj and AB de Villiers milked him for 10 runs with a boundary each, and his figures read 3 overs 1 maiden 15 runs and 3 wickets, enough for RCB to succumb.
RCB score 124/8
Sent to bat first, and being more confident with the return of Gayle, finally, RCB started on a roll in the first over. But that was their end too as Sandeep Sharma forced them on backfoot. Johnson also tried to collect the leftovers as he had Takawale in the 3rd over. By the end of 3.5 overs RCB were 4/26. Gayle (7-runs 20 balls with 2 4s 2 6s), Kohli (4), Takawale (0) and Parthiv (2) were back to pavillion. AB de Villiers and Yuvraj Singh tried to evade another below 100 score. They added 41 runs in 5.3 overs. With the start of another fantastic spell by Rishi Dhawan in the 10th over, AB de Villiers (15-runs 17 balls) had to go giving an easy catch to Maxwell. Balaji broke the 26 runs partnership of 4 overs between Yuvraj and Albie Morkel as he bowled Morkel (15 runs in 14 balls with a six). Yuvraj (32 ball 35 runs with 3 4s and a s9x) perished in the next over being caught by Miller of the bowling of Dhawan. After that Starc (8), Aaron (11*) and Dinda (2*) took them to 124/8.
Sandeep Shharma dealt the killer blow with 3/15. Johnson had his own share with 2/19, RIshi Dhawan bowled another good spelll of 2/14, while Balaji was as economical as ever with 1/17. The other bowlers were so successful that their star bowler A Patel could get only 2 overs giving 11 runs without wickets. Maxwell was taken to clearners with 0/39 in 3 overs.
Kings XI chase in 18.5 overs
Puujara tried and failed again with 18-ball 10 runs. Saha (2) spoilt another opportunity and Maxwell (6) failed again as Starc took two stunning catches on the bowling of Aaron in 6th and 8th over. With Miller (20-ball 26 runs) and settled Sehwag (26-ball 32 runs) caught behing on the bowling of RCBs star Chahal’s bowling in the same over, Kings XI were in a bit of worry as after 13th over score read 88/5. But from there Bailey (run-a-ball 16 runs) and Rishi Dhawan (22-ball 23 runs) added 39 runs and took them to 5th consecutive victory. Dhawan’s allround performance must be additional benefit now for Kings XI, in case the batting fails again.
For RCB Albie Morkel (0/24 in 2 overs) was again not productive even with balll. Varun Aaron was expensive (2/29), but others kept them in the match where they had a very tough low target to defent. Starch (0/15), Dinda (1/19 in 3 overs), Chahal (2/23) tied Kings XI. Even Yuvraj bowled 2 overs for 13 runs.