Kings XI Punjab beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 19 runs despite putting up a sub-par target of 139 runs thanks to Axar Patel's lion-hearted all-round effort at Chinnaswamy Stadium that kept his team's IPL play-off hopes alive. Kings XI Punjab now have 10 points from 10 games while RCB after their ninth defeat in 12 matches stay at the bottom on five points.
Batting first, the visitors managed to put just 139 for 7 on board after a dismal start. Punjab kept on losing wickets on a difficult track against a disciplined Bangalore bowlers.
Axar made 38 off just 17 balls. He hit three fours and two sixes with 19 runs off the last over bowled by Shane Watson. He then grabbed 3/11 in in 3 overs with RCB skittled out for 119 in 19 overs.
On a slow Chinnaswamy track, none of the Kings XI Punjab batsmen save Axar looked comfortable with run-scoring being an arduous job. The normally flamboyant Manan Vohra (25, 28 balls) also played a subdued knock hitting a six and a four.
Left-arm pacer Aniket Chaudhary (2/17 in 4 overs) gave RCB breakthrough in the very first over when Hashim Amla (1) got a faintest of an edge to be snapped by Kedar Jadhav behind the stumps.
With confidence torn to shreds and self belief in tatters, RCB looked like a rag-tag unit with no stomach for a fight. It seemed as if the team is just turning up to complete formalities.
Sandeep gave an exhibition of controlled swing bowling to get the 'Big Three' Chris Gayle (0), Virat Kohli (6) and AB de Villiers (10) quickly. He is the first bowler in IPL history to knock off the terrific trio in the same match.
Gayle got one that swung away as he slashed it straight to point. Kohli gave the charge to a delivery that swung back into knock the leg stump back. De Villiers pulled Sandeep to the mid-wicket stands but bowled a full outswinger which was edged to Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps.
Kedar Jadhav (6) hit a boundary but Mohit Sharma fooled him with a change of pace as a simple catch was taken by Axar Patel at short cover. After his good hand with the bat, Axar was back in thick of things removing Shane Watson (3) caught by Wriddhiman.
Mandeep Singh (46), who finally got some runs was lone man fighting for RCB but an innocuous delivery from rival skipper Glenn Maxwell saw him try an atrocious cross-batted shot to get bowled. At 73 for 6, the game was all over for the RCB with no chance whatsoever of making a comeback.
(With inputs from PTI)