Kings XI v Royal Challengers, IPL, Dubai

KXIP sweep UAE leg with fifth win

The Report by Kanishkaa Balachandran

April 28, 2014

Comments: 82 | Text size: A | A

Kings XI Punjab 127 for 5 (Sehwag 32) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 124 for 8 (Yuvraj 35, Sandeep 3-15) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Agarkar: Sandeep's skills impressive

In a game crippled by poor batting, Royal Challengers Bangalore limped to 124 and Kings XI Punjab were in danger of failing to chase that middling total, before they hung on to win by five wickets and leave the UAE with their fifth win in as many games. Chris Gayle, playing his first game of the season, and the rest of his team-mates failed to show up for the second game in a row and Royal Challengers lost seven wickets inside 15 overs. Kings XI also had their moments of anxiety at 88 for 5, but Rishi Dhawan and George Bailey completed the chase with seven balls to spare.

Royal Challengers showed poor game sense from the beginning, starting from Gayle's unusual approach of going ballistic from ball one. Gayle was forced to sit out the first four games due to injury and in the urge to make up for lost time, hammered 20 off the opening over by Glenn Maxwell, though not in the most convincing manner. But when attempting to dish out the same treatment to Sandeep Sharma the following over, he played one impetuous stroke too many and that started a slide Royal Challengers never recovered from.

Sandeep, the right-arm seamer, gets prodigious inswing and that helped in trapping Gayle and Virat Kohli, though he was lucky to get the latter. The swing took the ball past leg stump when the ball struck Kohli's pads but Billy Bowden was convinced it was hitting the stumps. A horrified Kohli trudged back after a pause, and the scowl hardly left his face through the game.

The top order fell to some inspired seam bowling from Sandeep and Mitchell Johnson who pitched the ball up and induced edges. AB de Villiers failed to take charge of the innings as he tamely lobbed the ball to backward point off Dhawan. The responsibility fell on the inconsistent Yuvraj Singh, and though he showed glimpses of his old self with his on-side flicks, he too fell to a poor shot. He pulled a short ball and found David Miller at deep midwicket with pin-point precision. It was a questionable shot, given the circumstances. Yuvraj was the last recognised batsman and Royal Challengers were three short of 100 with more than five overs to play.

The loss of wickets dried up the boundaries. Incredibly, Royal Challengers failed to score a boundary off the last seven overs, with only two instances of the ball crossing the ropes, via leg byes.

With a paltry 124 to defend, Royal Challengers needed quick wickets. Two brilliant catches at fine leg by Mitchell Starc gave them hope. A pick up shot by Wriddhiman Saha nearly cleared the rope but Starc hung on despite covering several yards near the edge of the rope. Maxwell tried the same shot but Starc this time hung on, diving forward. Maxwell's wicket gave Royal Challengers hope but for the second time in as many games, Kings XI managed without him.

Miller and Virender Sehwag kept Kings XI on track with a stand of 45. However, a double-strike by the legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal added a twist. Miller edged a googly, Sehwag was adjudged caught behind as well but replays showed he hadn't nicked it. It left Kings XI at a edgy 88 for 5, but they still held the edge thanks to a comfortable required rate of 5.28 and depth in batting.

Dhawan eased the nerves with a square cut for four off Dinda and a dab to third man off Yuvraj. The captain Bailey played second fiddle and the pair sealed the win in the 19th over. Royal Challengers succumbed to their third loss, and will need a quick turnaround once the tournament returns to India.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by aakshatsinha on (April 30, 2014, 6:01 GMT)

So Starc took an excellent diving catch of Maxwell. In the process of getting up he took the support of the hand in which he was holding the ball. The ball was touching the ground. So why wasnt anybody interested even in checking if the spectacular catch had been grassed! The catch is only complete when the fielder is in complete control of the ball. Like they throw up the ball after catching. I remember an instance when a catch was taken in the slip and the fielder started to throw the ball up in celebration. The ball slipped out of his hand & limply fell to the ground. the catch was NOT given. Here maybe Starc had his fingers under the ball, but I struggle to understand why wouldn't they even check to make sure it was taken cleanly. I think that was too short a time for the ball to have been dead as he was still in the process of completing his slide & gaining control of his movement. Its like he had taken the same catch at the boundary & simply touched the ropes while getting up. 6?

Posted by wapuser on (April 29, 2014, 18:41 GMT)

Ab had a chance at no 4 but he ruined it.....catching practice to maxwell!

Posted by CricLover316 on (April 29, 2014, 18:05 GMT)

@Greatest_Game-Absolutely.Its a 20 over Game.And we agree on this theory that,the best batsmen should bat most of the overs.Kohli bats at 3 for India & RCB,but often a wicket falls soon and he almost always comes within the 1st 5 overs.Why cant AB bat at 4?He and Virat make batting look so easy and can build their innings at good pace as others are struggling and AB cant just go Full throttle at the end(High Risk and not always high reward).Also the conditions are slow,low and spin friendly,which is not always easy to hit when you have just come in.

AB batting lower would always demand Virat to set platforms for you. And Yuv batting at 4 would add that pressure. You know what I mean.Being Too much Stat oriented has ruined England.Regardless of the stats,AB has to realize he is among the best & bat up the order because the order is ruining RCB's chances.The Pressure alone on the fielding team when Virat and AB are batting together would be Immense & a treat to watch for the true fans

Posted by Greatest_Game on (April 29, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

@ CricLover3. I agree with your opinion that IAB "and Kohli should bat at 3 and 4. Even if they can bat atleast 10 overs together,RCB would get big scores." I have been arguing for that for several years.

AB needs to get over this stats myth. Bat long enough at 8 and stats will show you bat best at 8!. AB is a batsman. He must perform as a batsman. He must be told to go out there and bat, not slog. I think Virat would be a good influence on him if they bat together.

If AB does not want to bat at 4 - which I doubt - or does not start playing like he should, like a real batsman, drop him. He & Kohli are the best batsmen in the world right now. If they work together, build good, solid partnerships and then finish like we know they can, they would be more reliable & formidable than Maxwell & Miller.

That is what RCB should by trying to build. Real batting partnerships, & a stable batting order - a solid TEAM!

Posted by CricLover316 on (April 29, 2014, 15:37 GMT)

Oops I meant AB has NOT been in to form since WT20. So,it would be only logical for him to spend time on the crease and not just be a slogger. Stats show many things. That often leads to your team getting harmed rather than benefited. Some passengers on the RCB team. Cant change much,but Rampaul has to come in for Morkel,that is if he is fit.

Posted by CricLover316 on (April 29, 2014, 15:05 GMT)

@ Greatest_Game- You said it. AB is a batmsan,not a slogger. Correct. Then,Why he is played that way by SA and now in RCB ? Just because stats show. Stats show And you"ll have to agree that he has been in top form since WT20. Last 2 games he had all the time in the world to set himself in. But couldn't. His stats show that. I think him and Kohli should bat at 3 and 4. Even if they can bat atleast 10 overs together,RCB would get big scores.Or Gayle has to fire which is 50-50 most of the times. I dont like this theory of Domingo,and obviously Donald and AB are sticking to it,as the stats suggest. This was big downfall for SA in WT20. After RCB lost to KKR,the writing was on the wall, that he should bat at 4.

Posted by CricLover316 on (April 29, 2014, 14:54 GMT)

@Greatest_Game- Dont get me wrong.I love AB,I am not only blaming him.But the demand of the situation is that he bats up the order.I think this has been mentioned often,also mentioned during the world T20 in comm that he said he bats during the last 5-10 overs because he thinks he is more effective that way.Domingo has defended this move.Domingo said:"AB is an impact player and the stats show-not just for South Africa but also in the IPL-that he's more dangerous when the game has been set up for him.He doesn't have the same game as Virat Kohli."

"He's batted [at] three with limited success.But it's not about the number he bats,it's about the situation when he comes in. If he walks out in the first over,I don't think that's a great time for him to bat.But if there's been a good start,then that's a great time for him to bat."Frm-Cricket365. So he thrives on set platforms.But he should bat at 4. As good as he is,Do you expect everytime for Kohli to set platforms ? Too much onus on kohli.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (April 29, 2014, 14:40 GMT)

@ Cpt.Meanster asks " Why is Albie Morkel being picked repeatedly in spite of such poor performances."

This Saffa agrees wholeheartedly. Albie just swing wildly & gets out. I was stunned when SA picked him for the World T20I. He has lost it, is picked on reputation alone, & will drag RCB down. His bowling is of little value.

How about this: much maligned "old man Kallis" has the 8th most runs & 5th highest score this year. At SR 125 he's not poking around. In 1 LESS innings he has scored more than, in listed order, Vijay, Yuvrag, Sewag, Patel (RCB) Pujara, Kohli Raina, KD Karthik, Dhoni, de Villiers…. In 4 innings/13 overs, he's taken 3 wickets at econ 7.38. Albie has taken 3 at econ 8.66!

Kallis, 8 years older, a few hundred thousand more miles of cricket on him, is a pro - focussed, thinking, succeeding. Albie just slogs mindlessly, but has lost the hand/eye coordination to middle the ball.

Drop him. Give a youngster, burning with ambition, the chance. He can't do any worse!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (April 29, 2014, 13:36 GMT)

@ CricLover316 wrote "AB ... refuses to come ahead to bat at 4,because he likes batting only the last 10 Overs,his own statement."

Where do you see these statements? I am genuinely interested. I know the statisticians claim he performs better after the 10th, but that is because he has been kept down the order so much, that naturally his best innings have come after the 10th, if he bats there most of the time.

SA's coach claims that his IPL record backs up this "after the 10th" claim. However, he has almost always batted at 5 for RCB - and naturally come in mostly after the 10th. I can't figure out if AB himself is saying this, & if he is saying this, is it because he has been brainwashed by statisticians? He was kept at 5 in the SA test team because Kallis was ahead of him. He did better at 5 than when he opened, but he opened at the beginning of his career, when he was still establishing himself, & had not matured.

He should bat at 4. Statistically, in T20I, he is best by far at 4!

Posted by Greatest_Game on (April 29, 2014, 13:21 GMT)

@ criclover16 states " I wonder why he (AB) doesnt want to bat at 4 ? He has stated that he like to bat last 5-10 overs."

Do you know where/when AB stated that? His longest spell of success in T20 was batting at number 4 for SA. He had a period when he batted at 4 every match, and averaged 27.8. He averages 14.71 at 5!

That was before Gary Kirsten experimented with the "floating" batting order & destroyed SA's short format teams. AB's form in T20 dropped considerably. I know SA's coaches claim that he plays better coming in after the 10th over, but there are so many holes in that bogus statistical argument that it is worthless.

AB does best when he has a regular spot up the order, and is not pressured to hit out before he has his eye in & the feel & rhythm of the pitch. That is how Virat succeeds. He does not do well if he tries to hit out immediately. AB should bat at 4. If he complains, bench him! He is a batsman, not a slogger. He must bat.

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