A valiant batting effort from the Shers went in vain, as Royal Challengers Bangalore held their nerve to win a tense fixture by 17 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Having won the toss and elected to bowl first, KXIP were almost off to the perfect start, as Virat Kohli’s flick went straight towards Hardus Viljoen, but the pacer couldn’t capitalize and the opposition skipper made the visitors pay, smashing two sumptuous boundaries on the next two deliveries to get the hosts off to a strong start.

However, his lucky break didn’t last long as he mistimed a shot and looped the ball straight into the hands of Mandeep Singh and walked back to the dugout with the score reading 35/1.

Kohli’s opening partner, Parthiv Patel, continued to exploit the field restrictions and picked up 18 runs in the sixth over. But just two deliveries later, spinner Murugan Ashwin outfoxed the southpaw with a googly, leading to a top edge that went straight into the palms of captain Ravichandran Ashwin.

Sadda Sher

In a game that saw close to 390 runs scored in 40 overs, skipper Ravichandran Ashwin gave away just 15 runs while also picking up a crucial wicket in his quota of four overs, in a splendid spell of spin bowling.

The skipper, then, got the Shers another breakthrough with an arm ball, as Moeen Ali misjudged a quicker one that crashed straight into the stumps ending his short stay in the middle with the score at 75/3. The double blow put the brakes on the RCB scoring rate and they managed to pick up only 39 runs over the next seven overs of the innings.

De Villiers though upped the ante in the next four overs and helped RCB pick up 45 runs to swing the momentum of the innings back in his team’s favor. The final two overs yielded six maximums and two boundaries as RCB finished with a humungous total of 202/4.

In reply, the Shers got off to a flyer, as Chris Gayle and KL Rahul took the challenge head on and forged a 42-run partnership in just 19 deliveries, before the Universe Boss had to depart after slightly miscuing a length ball and hitting it straight to the man marshalling the legside boundary.

Rahul continued the onslaught and smashed leggie Yuzvendra Chahal for a six and a boundary in the sixth over to help the team finish the powerplay with 68 runs on the board. New man Mayank Agarwal also got in on the act, playing some wonderful strokes, as the pair added 59 runs in just 34 balls to keep the required rate within check.

Unha Da Sher

After two quick wickets rocked their batting effort, AB de Villiers steadied the innings before finishing it off with an assault to help RCB post a massive total of 202.  

But in a space of just seven deliveries, both batsmen perished to ill-timed shots, reducing KXIP to 105/3 with two new batsmen out in the center. After playing his way in, Nicholas Pooran decided to get a move on, smashing three sixes off Washington Sundar’s bowling to get the chase back on track. He continued his assault in 16th over against Moeen Ali, dispatching the Englishman for two sixes to get the run rate a shade under 12 with four over left in the contest.

A neat 18th over from Umesh Yadav though saw the Shers score only six run and in the subsequent over, pacer Navdeep Saini managed to get rid of both set batsman while giving away only three, leaving KXIP with 27 to get off the final over.

The task proved to be too steep in the end and the team dropped a tough game in Bengaluru.