Adam Gilchrist played a blinder of an innings to help Kings XI Punjab register an emphatic 7-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore and keep the playoffs race wide open.
Gilchrist led from the front as he remained unbeaten on 85 off 54 balls. Gilly’s flamboyant knock was studded with 10 fours and three sixes.
Rajagopal Sathish smacked a four towards mid on to take Punjab to victory target for 175 in 18.1 overs.
Gilchrist and Azhar Mahmood scored fifty apiece and added 100 runs for the second wicket to take Kings XI Punjab closer to victory.
Gilchrist, who has been woefully out-of-form, blasted at the right time for Kings XI and smashed seven fours and a six during the course of his fifty. Mahmood also notched up 36-ball fifty with the help of seven fours and a six.
Jaydev Unadkat gave RCB some sigh of relief by ending the fabulous knock of Mahmood, who was caught by AB de Villiers at long off.
Playing his first match of the season, Zaheer Khan struck to give Royal Challengers Bangalore first breakthrough as he dismissed Kings XI Punjab’s Shaun Marsh.
Earlier, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli came back strongly after slow start to stitch 137-run stand and helped Royal Challengers Bangalore to post a stiff 175-run target for Kings XI Punjab.
Gayle back with a bang as he slammed three sixes in a row to reach his half-century off 40 balls.
Punjab pacer Parvinder Awana ended Gayle’s onslaught in the 19th over. The explosive southpaw’ swashbuckling 77 runs knock was studded with six massive sixes and four boundaries.
Gayle and Kohli reached their 100-run stand in just 68 balls to turn the momentum in RCB’s way after the hosts toiled hard against Punjab bowlers.
Kohli also continued his red hot form in the tournament as he slammed yet another fifty to put Kings XI on backfoot.
Gayle was not in his elements earlier in the innings as he had tough time negotiating Kings XI bowlers and not scored and a single boundary in the mandatory powerplay.
Kings XI pacer Parvinder Awana struck in his first over to dismiss RCB’s Cheteshwar Pujara. Pujara dominated his partner Gayle as he scored 19 runs out of 22 in the opening stand.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist won the toss and opted to bowl against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
After leading the table midway through the tournament with six straight home wins, RCB faltered on the road with just two wins from eight outings.
Slipping to a tricky fourth position with 16 points, Bangalore now find themselves in a do-or-die situation needing to win the remaining two matches to make the cut for the playoffs.
Kings XI Punjab 176 for 3 (Gilchrist 85*, Mahmood 61) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 174 for 5 (Gayle 77, Kohli 57) by 7 wickets