IPL 2014: Miller, Sandeep power KXIP to 32-run win over RCB
Bangalore: The Kings XI Punjab juggernaut continued to roll in style as they convincingly crushed hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore by 32 runs in an IPL encounter to consolidate their position at the top of the table.
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Put into bat, KXIP batsmen again fired unison to score an imposing 198 for eight with in-form David Miller smashing 66 off 29 balls.
In reply, RCB could manage only 166 for nine as AB de Villiers ran out of partners despite another heroic effort hitting 53 off 26 balls.
KXIP remain on top of the table with 14 points from eight games while RCB stay on sixth place with six points from eight games.
Sandeep Sharma again proved his mettle with early strikes as he had another terrific day with figures of 3 for 25. But the surprise package was an unheralded 20-year-old off-spinner Shivam Sharma playing his first competitive match at the senior level.
Bowling like a classical off-break bowler, who could both flight and turn the ball, Shivam had brilliant figures of two for 26 in four overs to show for his efforts.
Seamer Sandeep, who has been one of the discoveries of this IPL wreaked havoc as he blasted off the top-order during an inspired first spell. He angled one away from Chris Gayle (4) who flashed at it and Wriddhiman Saha pouched it behind stumps.
Off his very next delivery, which wasn`t a good one, he saw Virat Kohli trying to tuck it down leg side but managed to give Wriddhiman a catch down leg-side. This is Kohli`s third duck in the tournament and now shares the ignominy with KKR captain Gautam Gambhir.
Parthiv Patel hit a few lusty blows but was holed out in the deep extra cover region giving Sandeep his third wicket.
RCB were reeeling at 26 for three and it soon became 39 for four when Sachin Rana (18) was cleaned all ends up by an arm ball from Akshar Patel.
Yuvraj Singh (3) again wasted too many deliveries putting a lot of pressure on De Villiers before he was fooled by a flighted delivery from Shivam. He tossed it up and Yuvraj trying hit over mid-wicket saw the ball turn and Sehwag gobbled it at first slip.
The youngster was not afraid to flight and also got a bit of purchase off the pitch.
At the end of 10 overs, it was 52 for five and the match seemed as good as over.
Albie Morkel (16) hit a couple of sixes as Glenn Maxwell went for 24 in his single over. However young Shivam got his second wicket when Morkel went for a hoick only to be caught George Bailey at short third-man.
De Villiers however carried on from where he had left against Sunrisers as he completed his 50 off 25 balls with successive sixes of Lakshmipathy Balaji.
Having hit five sixes, De Villiers was unlucky trying to hit the sixth one when Balaji fired one wide and his slog over cover was talen by the fielder at the ropes.
Once De Villiers was gone, it became a mere formality for the visitors.
Earlier, Miller smashed his way to a 29-ball-66 as Kings XI Punjab`s batting clicked yet again posing a challenging score of 198 for eight after being put into bat.
Miller and Wriddhiman Saha (17) steadied the innings after KXIP slumped to 116 for four in 11.4 overs as Virender Sehwag and Mandeep Singh gave a rollicking start to the visitors adding 60 runs in 35 balls. Sehwag again scored 30 but more importantly provided the momentum.
Glenn Maxwell again blasted his way to 25 off 10 balls before being holed out at the deep mid-wicket fence off Yuzvendra Chahal`s bowling trying to go for his third six. Maxwell also hit a couple of boundaries.
One of the finds of this IPL, Chahal was the pick of the bowlers with figures of two for 23 in four overs.
Once Miller got set, the South African left-hander scored runs at a brisk pace. He hit eight boundaries and three sixes off only 29 balls before departing in the 17th over of the KXIP innings.
Saha also contributed in Punjab's massive total by supporting Miller as they notched up 54 runs in only 4.5 overs.
The RCB wicketkeeper was scalped by Harshal Patel at long-off by AB de Villiers, trying to loft a slower delivery.
Thereafter Akshar Patel and Shivam Sharma, who played his first match of the season, went cheaply, scoring two and four respectively.
The swashbuckling Sehwag, whose 30 had five boundaries against his name gave a solid start to Punjab by putting on 60 with Mandeep (21) for the opening stand.
Maxwell smacked Yuvraj Singh out of the park for two sixes and a four, thus collecting 19 runs in eighth over of visitor's innings.
As he was looking to take the game away from Bangalore, Maxwell fell prey to Chahal after he was holed out at deep mid-wicket where Mitchell Starc took a well-judged catch just a few inches from the ropes.
It was left to Miller and Bailey, who had a decent unbeaten 40 in the previous match against Chennai, to repair the innings as Punjab slumped to 93 for three in the ninth over.
Bailey, who also did not get a long hit in the middle because of the inform top-order batsmen this season, was out poking at the away-going ball off Morkel for one after playing seven balls.
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