Kings XI Punjab does the double against Royal Challengers Bangalore this year after winning by seven wickets on Thursday.
Finally, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) clinched the second victory of the season on October 16 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. They managed to make it nervy in the end but Nicholas Pooran’s six off the final ball meant that KXIP cruised to a comfortable victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Overall, it was a good performance from KXIP in all departments against RCB. They managed to restrict them below par score and showed the right intent while chasing the score. RCB needs to shrug off this performance quickly and get back to winning ways as they remain third in the points table. Here are some important takeaways from KXIP’s second win of the season.
Opening duo continues to shine for KXIP
Chris Gayle was back in the KXIP squad after not playing a single game in the first half of the season. However, KXIP didn’t shoehorn him in the opening slot. A brave decision since Gayle has played only a handful of games in middle order throughout his illustrious T20 career. It eventually paid off for the Punjab based franchise.
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal gave KXIP a flying start in the chase. Both Karnataka batsmen went for the kill in the powerplay to end up with 56 runs. Agarwal took up the responsibility of going for runs after six overs to keep the asking run-rate under control. Meanwhile, Rahul played the long innings and stitched two big partnerships to see out the game for KXIP. Rahul and Agarwal will need to maintain this form if KXIP wants to qualify for playoffs.
RCB’s idea with batting order was right, but execution was poor
RCB decided to shield AB de Villiers from leg-spin as KXIP had M. Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi bowling in the middle orders. The South African batsman has struggled most against leg spinners since 2018, dismissed eight times in 21 innings. (Stats courtesy: Cricbuzz live commentary)
The team management decided to send Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube ahead of de Villiers. The idea behind this move was well thought, but the execution let RCB down. Both all-rounders found it difficult to score runs quickly and kept on eating deliveries.
De Villiers got out quickly after coming on in 16th over, so fans may question these tactics, but losing him early would have been a much bigger blow. Better execution of plans may have bore the fruit for RCB. It remains to be seen whether they stick with the same idea in upcoming games.
Chris Morris is perfect addition to RCB squad
While the key batsmen got out for RCB in the 17th over, Chris Morris made sure that they had a decent total to defend. The South African all-rounder scored 25 runs in eight balls and stitched a good partnership with Isuru Udana to stretch RCB’s total to 171.
During the second half of the innings, Morris gave away only 22 runs in four overs. Other bowlers found it difficult to stop the flow of runs, but Morris showed great skill and execution of plans to stop batsmen from scoring freely. The South African international has been the perfect addition for RCB this season, providing a good balance in the batting and bowling department.
By Kiran Thakare