North India had unseasonal rain on Wednesday and Mohali was no exception. Despite the reality about the home team’s exit from 2015 IPL, the cricket lovers continued to wait for the start of the match. After several field inspections, it was finally announced that the contest would be limited to 10-over a side game. Earlier, Virat Kohli had won the toss and he chose to field. Kings Eleven had a new batting combo for this match as Wriddhiman Saha walked out with Manan Vohra. Saha was mercurial from the beginning as he exploded with a 12-ball 31 to put KXIP on a sound footing. Proportionate contributions came from every KXIP batsman and with Axar Patel providing a late surge; the team score reached 106/6 in 10 overs. Coming later to chase 107 for victory, Royal Challengers Bangalore stuttered in middle overs after a relatively explosive start. Beuran Hendricks, Axar Patel and Anureet Singh stifled the later order batsmen and stemmed the flow of runs. In the end, RCB fell 22 runs short of the target and lost one rung in the points’ table.
After a long wait on Wednesday night, teams finally came out at 10.45 PM for a game that was restricted to 10-over apiece. After winning the toss, Kohli had asked King’s Eleven Punjab to bat first and Wriddhiman Saha and Manan Vohra opened for KXIP while Mitchell Starc took the ball. These two got to work instantly with Saha slamming Starc for two boundaries and scoring 12 out of 14 for KXIP at the end of the first over. Saha had scored a single off the last delivery and therefore he had the strike. He hammered Sreenath Arvind for 18 off the first five balls and the openers collected 20 off the second. After 34 runs in 2 overs, Saha fell to the first ball of the next over from David Wiese. But he had kick-started the campaign effectively with a 12-ball 31. Vohra was joined by Glenn Maxwell and the second wicket partnership was worth 16, when Vohra departed in the 5th over with KXIP’s score at 50/2. Every batsman made a double digit score afterwards and with Axar Patel providing a late blast, KXIP put up a challenging 106/6.
RCB’s 111-run chase began at 11.45 PM and they went about in the same manner as did KXIP earlier. Though Gayle and Kohli added only 16 from the first two overs, the third went for 17 runs with Kohli getting out of the last ball. But RCB were still in the game with 74 required off the next 42 balls. But Rishi Dhawan conceded only 6 off his over and Sandeep Sharma’s next over accounted for Gayle with 10 coming out of it. But when AB de Villiers left in the 7th over, RCB had lost the steam with 38 needed from 18. With Beuran Hendricks and Axar Patel yielding only 5 apiece of the next two over; RCB needed 28 off the last six balls from Anureet Singh. The Punjab seamer showed his brilliance and yielded only 5 and also took the wicket of Sarfaraz Khan. It was all over with KXIP emerging victorious by a 22-run margin.
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