Photo credit: BCCI/

Key Baneya

  • Kings XI Punjab lost a tough battle against Royal Challengers Bangalore by 4 wickets.
  • Lokesh Rahul continued his fine form, scoring 47 off 30 balls.
  • Ravichandran Ashwin scored 33 runs and picked up two wickets with the ball.

Kings XI Punjab put up a brave fight but had to face their first loss of the season, going down by 4 wickets against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on Friday. The Kings XI spinners were on the money for most of the game, picking up four of the six wickets that fell and giving away very little, but Punjab's score proved difficult to defend.

Being put in to bat, KXIP’s Lokesh Rahul took off from where he left in the first match by smashing two sixes and a four off the first over itself. He was well accompanied by Mayank Agarwal, and they put up 32 runs at more than 10 runs an over for the first wicket.

A few quick wickets by Umesh Yadav put the Kings on the back-foot but Karnataka boys Rahul and Karun Nair steadied the ship, keeping home team RCB from running away with an advantage.

Another small collapse in the middle order brought skipper Ravichandran Ashwin to the crease with a big responsibility on his shoulders. He played a captain’s knock of 33, his highest score in the Indian Premier League, and gave the Kings a respectable 156 runs to defend.

Unha-da Sher
Umesh Yadav shook a high-on-confidence Kings XI batting order by picking up three crucial wickets in his second over and putting the in-form Lokesh Rahul under pressure on the other end, leading to a drastic drop in the scoring rate.

Kings XI Punjab’s defence got off to a dream start with Axar Patel getting a wicket in his first over, sending the dangerous Brendon McCullum back to the pavilion for nought. Mujeeb Ur Rahman also got in the act soon after deceiving RCB captain Virat Kohli in flight and bowling him through the gate with a stunner.

Things were looking like they might run away from KXIP at one point with a set Quinton de Kock at the crease blasting the bowling to all parts of the ground. But the wily Ashwin had other plans. He first beat de Kock in the air after he charged down to the pitch and rattled his stumps and then dismissed Sarfaraz Khan off the first ball he played with his new-found wrist-spin action.

Sadda Sher
Ravichandran Ashwin scored a fighting 33 and picked up back-to-back wickets in his last over to lead the Kings XI Punjab fight from the front.

Some disciplined bowling by the KXIP spinners saw the match come down to the wire in the closing overs. However, AB de Villiers smashed a couple of sixes in the 17th over to ease the pressure on the home team.

Turning Point
After clawing their way back into the match thanks to some disciplined bowling, KXIP had to face a late charge by AB de Villiers who took star bowler Mujeeb Ur Rahman for 19 run in the Afghan's last over and turned the tide’s in RCB’s favour.

Andrew Tye managed to put some pressure on them by picking up de Villiers but the match was firmly in RCB’s grasp by then. Washington Sundar scored the winning runs in the last over to take his team over the line.

Key Chalda Hai?

Kings XI Punjab are still in the 4th position in the leaderboard after this defeat and will now face the next test against Chennai Super Kings in their stronghold at Mohali on Sunday, 15th April.