Bangalore, May 2: Wicketkeeper-batsman Nitin Saini and stand-in skipper David Hussey guided Kings XI Punjab to a thrilling four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in game 44 of IPL 5 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
Scorecard: RCB vs KXIP
With two runs required off the last two balls, Piyush Chawla finished off with a six to seal a nail-biting victory after three freak run-outs rocked Punjab in the 19th over.
After a positive start to the run-chase, Punjab almost threw away the match when Azhar Mahmood(2), David Hussey(45) and Abhishek Nayar(2) were run-out in the space of eight runs.
Punjab's three run-outs were triggered by unnecessary running between the wickets and some impressive fielding by the Royal Challengers which gave the hosts a ray of hope to fight back and win it in the last over.
Chasing 158, Punjab started positively even though Shaun Marsh(8) departed early on. Mandeep Singh scored a crucial knock of 43 off 30 balls to provide stability at the top followed by Saini and Hussey's impressive 73-run partnership for the third wicket, which almost sealed a comfortable victory for Punjab.
Saini scored his maiden IPL fifty off 36 balls with the help of five fours, while skipper Hussey smashed four sixes and two fours to score a quick 29-ball 45.
Azhar Mahamood was adjudged man of the match for his brilliant bowling figures of 20/3 which certainly cut-short Bangalore's total to a certain extent at the end of their innings.
With this win, Punjab have won three in four games and jumped to fourth spot with 10 points while the Royal Challengers have lost two in a row to slip to sixth position in the points table.
Royal Challengers Bangalore innings report:
A quick fire 119-run stand between Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli helped Royal Challengers Bangalore score 158/5.
Gayle yet again played a vital innings at the top scoring his fifth half-century (71 off 42 balls) with four sixes and six boundaries. Gayle's firing knock along with Kohli's steady 45 helped them score a crucial 119-run stand for the second wicket.
Bangalore were on course to score a huge total before Azhar Mahmood's (20/3) spectacular last over restricted them to a competitive total of 158. Mahmood struck twice dismissing AB de Villiers (17) and Andrew McDonald (9) and conceded only four runs in the 20th over.
The former Pakistan all-rounder also reduced RCB's momentum after breaking the dangerous century stand between Gayle and Kohli as the hard hitting giant was caught in the deep by substitute David Miller while Kohli was bowled out by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in the following over.
After a poor start to the season, Virat Kohli was back amongst runs with a steady 42-ball 45 smashing three fours and two sixes.
Punjab pacer Ryan Harris was hit for a six off his first ball by Mayank Agarwal (7), but bowled him out two balls later. Praveen Kumar registered impressive figures of none for eight in his four over spell. Punjab's Parvinder Awana did not have a good day with the ball conceding 48 runs in four overs.
Kings XI Punjab stand-in skipper David Hussey won the toss and elected to field first.
Both teams have made several changes as Punjab bring in Australian pacer Ryan Harris who replaces David Miller while Paras Dogra comes in for Bhargav Bhatt. Abhishek Nayar is also included in the playing XI replacing Bipul Sharma.
The Royal Challengers have brought in Andrew McDonald in place of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Asad Pathan plays his first game coming in for Harshal Patel.
A point separates both teams as the Royal Challengers sit on fifth position with nine points while Punjab are placed below on eighth spot with eight points.
A win for Bangalore will take them to third spot, while Punjab will jump to fourth spot with a victory.
Bangalore have been criticised for their overdependence on hard hitting Chris Gayle and South African AB de Villiers, while Punjab have been inconsistent and are yet to play to their full potential.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (captain), Andrew McDonald, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Saurabh Tiwary, R Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Asad Pathan , K P Appanna.
Kings XI Punjab: David Hussey (captain), Shaun Marsh, Piyush Chawla, Mandeep Singh, Parvinder Awana, Praveen Kumar, Abhishek Nayar, Nitin Saini (wicketkeeper), Ryan Harris, Azhar Mahmood.
Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and SS Shamsuddin (India)
Third umpire: Shavir Tarapore (India)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)