It was another Super Sunday of IPL. Four of the top ranked teams playing at Bangalore, home of RCB, and Cuttack, “Home Ground” for Kings XI Punjab. The day surprised all. The successful perished, the written-offs performed. The team known for high scores, could not even reach 150 while others scored heavily. Indian discards Sehwag and Yuvraj performed exceptional, but for losing causes, while famous Aussies failed, and out of form Aussie pair of Smith and Faulkner registered a shocking chase. In the end, while Kings XI still remain on top of Points Tally, Rajasthan Royals strengthened its position at number three, Kolkata Knight Riders jumped ahead of Sunrisers to fourth position, while Royal Challengers Bangalore reached one loss away from being knocked out.
Player of the Matches: Gambhir and Faulkner
Both the players received their second such award of the season.
Gautam Gambhir earned his second consecutive Player of the Match award with his second consecutive half-century. Must be a major relief for him as not only series of ducks left his side, but KKR is also inching up with his every considerable contribution.
Faulkner on the other hand received the award for his 17-ball unbeaten 41 runs with 3 sixes and 3 4s that helped RR steal a win from hopeless situations against RCB. Although even his wicket of AB de Villiers, who was on rampage, was also very special even if it came just 2 balls before the end of RCBs innings.
KKR Chase RRs 149 with 9 wickets and 2 overs to Spare
Winning the toss against Kings XI gives any team only one option in this season. Gambhir followed the same, and asked Kings XI Punjab to bat first. Kings XI played at Cuttack, supposed to be their home ground, which had more supporters for KKR as it is closer to Kolkata than Punjab.
For Kings XI, patience with Sehwag finally paid as he showed his class scoring a half-century after many IPL innings. But, his fate did not leave him. Even while playing with Delhi Daredevils when he performed others failed collectively, and it was repeated today. Due to the good start given by him, the heroes of Kings Maxwell, Miller and Bailey were in shock as they have always been batting after openers provide no support. Mandeep Singh (0) and Saha (9-ball 15 runs) perished by start of 6th over. Still with 48/2 the run rate was above 9. Without pressure Maxwell (14-ball 14 runs), Miller (14-ball 13 runs) and Bailey (11-ball 12* runs) could not perform. Probably they were awestruck with Sehwag’s innings. He scored 50-ball 72 runs with 11 4s and a six. The score finally reached 149/8, despite crossing 80 runs in 10 overs.
Morne Morkel (2/20) did the early damage. But it was Piyush Chawla (3/19) who nailed the Kings strong middle order. Umesh Yadav (1/34) bowled Miller, Narine (1/30) was expensive by his conservative standard. Kallis (0/38 in 3 overs) was hit for 17 runs by Sehwag in first over.
KKR continued their threatening Uthappa-Gambhir partnership for the fourth consecutive match. They added 68 runs only in 7 overs as Uthapppa (28-ball 46 runs with 8 4s and a six) fell to Awana, the only wicket for Kings. Gambhir (45-ball 63 runs with 7 4s) with Manish Pandey (35-ball 36 runs) added another 82 runs to take KKR to thumping 9 wickets win.
Amidst the ruins Akshar Patel (0/20 in 4 overs) impressed again, as Sandeep Sharma (0/32), Johnson (0/33 in 3 overs), Dhawan (0/32) and Awana (1/20 in 2 overs) were hit all over the park by the trio of KKR.
RR Make 191 again but for a Winning Cause, vs RCB
When RCB scored 191 in the match against KingS XI they were hit by Miller and Maxwell out of the park. Today they scored same number of runs to chase RCBs huge 190/5, which was scored as after Sehwag, another Indian sleeping giant woke up. Yuvraj Singh scored 38-ball 83 runs with 7 6s and 7 4s, alongwith already dangerous AB de Villiers (32-ball 58 runs with 5 6s and a four). Both created a new IPL record adding 132 runs for the 4th wicket.
Before that RCBs experiment of brining Parthiv down to No. 7 and getting Kohli to open misfired badly. Kohli (9-ball 4 runs) went in third over, Gayyle (25 ball 19 runs) and even Vijay Zol (14-ball 16 runs) failed. After 8.1 overs their scored 40/3. Just when it appeard RR has choked RCBs great batting unit, AB de Villiers was joined by so far failing Yuvraj. Both batted for 10.5 overs to add 132 runs. The last over of Faulkner saw AB and others adding another 18 runs as RCB reached 190/5.
For RR, except Tewatia (1/17 in 3 overs), all others were hit. Richardson (2/43) was among the wickets, Tambe (1/38) was read well, Faulkner (1/42), Watson (0/35) and Rajat Bhatia (0/13 in 1 over) were punished mercilessly.
Nobody can write off Rajasthan Royals out of any match on any day, and cannot consider them favorite too while chasing high scored. Story appeared not much different. Rahane (22-ball 24 runs) and Karun Nair (39-ball 56 runs) helped them reach 54 in 7 overs. But wicket of Watson (1), Binny (1), Samson (13) and Karun (in 14th over) left them at a low score of 106/5. They still needed 85 runs in 6.3 overs. Just then Steven Smith (21-ball 48 runs with 4 4s and 4 6s) and Faulkner (17-ball 41 runs with 3 sixes and 3 4s) joined hands and added 85 runs with 7 balls to spare.
RCB bowlers were left clueless. Chahal who grabbed the first wicket was their best bowler again with 1/24. Yuvraj surprised all with the ball too as he got remaining 4 wickets. He had a figure of 4/35. For rest of them there was no place to hide. Albie Morkel (0/20 in 2 overs), Starc (0/33 in 3 overs), Dinda (0/37 in 3 overs), Aaron (0/41 in 2.5 overs) display the shocked state of affairs for RCB, who are now just one defeat away from being knocked out.