Axar Patel and Sandep Sharma claimed three wickets each to guide their side Punjab to a comfortable 19-run win against a struggling Bangalore unit in the Indian Twenty20 competition at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on Friday.
Bangalore, with just two wins from nine matches, hoped to end Punjab's chances of sealing a playoff spot, but Patel - who had starred earlier with the bat, scoring 38 off 17, joined forces with Sharma and restricted the powerful Bangalore batting unit to just 119 in pursuit of a 139-run target. Punjab needed early wickets and Sharma tore their powerful top order apart, dismissing Chris Gayle for 0 off the fourth ball of the chase and then accounting for Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in his next two overs. Bangalore had required just over six runs an over from the onset but an impressive display from Punjab's seamers made their task difficult, as they struggled at 3 for 37 in the first five overs.
While Sharma ripped apart the top order, Patel accounted for the middle order by dismissing Shane Watson, Pawan Negi and Samuel Badree. Mandeep Singh was the only Bangalore batsman who found fluency with a 40-ball 46, but following his departure in the 12th over, the hosts buckled to just 119 in their 20 overs. Patel finished with figures of 3 for 11, while Sharma claimed figures of 3 for 22.