As the tournament reaches its halfway stage, the points table has begun to take shape. In a pivotal fixture, Punjab Kings (PBKS) took on the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Ahmedabad, a venue where the teams have faced contrasting starts so far.
Toss And Team News
Virat Kohli called the right side of the coin and opted to bowl first. Washington Sundar was dropped as Shahbaz Ahmad was recalled into the side.
KL Rahul named three changes to the side that was defeated by KKR. Mayank Agarwal missed out due to an injury while Moises Henriques and Arshdeep Singh were dropped. Prabhsimran Singh, Riley Meredith, and Harpreet Brar were brought in.
Former RCB stalwarts inflict serious damage
PBKS had a new opening pair in the form of KL Rahul (91) and Prabhsimran Singh (7). The latter departed in Kyle Jamieson’s (2-32) first over to bring in former RCB great, Chris Gayle.
After a lethargic start to the innings, PBKS were able to turn it around with a mammoth final over of the powerplay. Gayle (46) slammed five fours off Kyle Jamieson to take their tally in the powerplay to 49 with the loss of a solitary wicket.
The duo brought up their 50-run stand in 26 deliveries as Gayle kept his aggression intact while Rahul played the role of the anchor.
Universe Boss fell short of a fifty with Daniel Sams (1-24) returning back into the attack to break the partnership with a bouncer.
KL Rahul got to his half-century in good time, but at the other end, Nicholas Pooran (0) recorded his fourth duck of the season following a soft dismissal.
The skipper kept watching the wickets tumble from the non-striker’s end as Deepak Hooda (5) went for a big heave to clear the longer boundary and Shahrukh Khan (0) lost his stump after misreading a googly.
After initially leaking runs, Yuzvendra Chahal (1-34) ended his spell on a high while Shahbaz Ahmad (1-11) bowled tight.
PBKS ended a 6-over boundary drought in the 18th over with successive boundaries of Harshal Patel (0-54). The death bowler ended without a wicket for the first time this season, and was hit for 40 runs off his last two overs courtesy of Rahul’s innovative shots and slogging. PBKS eventually touched 179-5 after their 20 overs with a final ball six.
Spinners spin a web over RCB unit
The raw pace of the PBKS new ball opening pair asked serious questions to the chasing side. Devdutt Padikkal after hitting a glorious six, was bowled the very next ball off a 146 km/h scorcher from Riley Meredith.
Mohammad Shami was able to trouble his national skipper which included a couple of blows to his upper body.
The required rate climbed up to 12 by the tenth over itself with the second wicket partnership between Virat Kohli and Rajat Patidar not taking off.
PBKS added further pressure following the wickets of Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell off consecutive deliveries by Harpreet Brar.
The spinner returned to claim the big scalp of AB de Villiers with a soft dismissal to arguably seal the game for his side.
Patidar’s 30-ball ordeal came to an end after he holed out to long-on in the 15th over.
PBKS finished off the proceedings in due fashion and gained two valuable points.
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