" The Royals lost quite a few wickets towards the end but a couple of…
Mohali:Just when it mattered, the bowlers managed to play their part in a winning cause for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
With Kings XI Punjab needing to score four runs off the last ball, Chris Jordan conceded only two to give his team a one-run win.
RCB, which has not conceded less than 171 runs in any of the nine matches in IPL-9, stopped Kings XI at 174 for four in its chase of 176.
Shane Watson, who took two for 22 while giving away only seven runs off the 19th over was adjudged the man-of-the-match.
As long as skipper and opener M. Vijay was around, Kings XI appeared to be cruising. But, once he was out for a 57-ball 89 dotted with 12 boundaries and a six, RCB’s hopes were rekindled before the duo of Marcus Stoinis and debutant Farhaan Berhardien almost got the 37 needed off the last 18 deliveries.
Earlier, put in, Royal Challengers Bangalore, which got off to a flier, lost its way between the fifth and 12th overs before A.B. de Villiers came to his team’s rescue with a quickfire 64.
RCB was off to a blistering start with K.L. Rahul smashing a six and six fours in his 25-ball 42.
He went after Stoinis and the Australian gave away 20 runs in his opening over as the first four overs produced 44.
However, three wickets in the space of four runs brought Kings XI back into the contest. K.C. Cariappa managed to beat an ambitious heave of Rahul to leave his stumps shattered.
Two deliveries later, Virat Kohli drove straight to Kings XI skipper Vijay at short cover. And Watson was bowled after misreading the trajectory of the ball from Axar Patel.
As it turned out, RCB slumped from 44 for no loss in four overs to 85 for three after 12 — those eight overs producing just 41 runs!
What followed was a counter-attack from de Villiers.
In the company of a steady Sachin Baby, de Villiers raised 88 runs for the fourth wicket during their 55-ball partnership.
In fact, after 15 overs, with the score reading 111 for three, de Villiers had made only 25 off 21 balls before he launched the offensive on mediumpacers Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma in turns.
He scored 15 runs off five deliveries from Sandeep, after hoisting a six and four.
The South African then turned his attention to Mohit and added 13 off five balls, dotted with two fours.
In the next over, he carted Sandeep for a six and a four before being caught at short third-man.
After de Villiers exited, Travis Head and Baby scored quickly to help RCB set a target of 176 despite wickets falling off the last two deliveries.