|Scorecard:||Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore|
|Player:||Yuvraj Singh, YA Abdulla, RE van der Merwe, A Kumble|
|Event:||Indian Premier League 2009|
DateLine: 1st May 2009
Yuvraj Singh and the entire Kings XI Punjab team would be left wondering what went wrong. Surely this wasn’t the script for this one. After the skipper had notched a hat-trick and hammered a rocking half-century, there was no way they were going to lose this one.
But lose it they did, thanks to two sensational overs at the end of the innings by new skipper Anil Kumble and Praveen Kumar made sure that Bangalore Royal Challengers carved out an unlikely win, their first in four IPL games against the same rivals.
Yuvraj was sure this was going to be his evening, thanks to his bowling stint, and brought himself up the batting line-up. It looked like a stroke of genius for the time the he was at the crease. But Punjab lost the game just before and after the mid-innings break, as they lost Yuvraj with one ball left in the 10th over and then went on to see the backs of Karan Goel and Simon Katich, playing his first game.
Sri Lankans Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene tried to get the innings going again, but somehow the Bangalore bowlers managed to pick up wickets at regular intervals. This, after Yuvraj and Goel had scored 70 runs for the opening wicket, would really be hard for Punjab to swallow.
Then win suddenly finds Bangalore fifth on the table, and they would surely be beginning to believe that there is life beyond the bottom rung. On the other hand, Punjab would be wondering what they did wrong, but that would be difficult to trace down.
Yuvraj has this phenomenal equation with the Kingsmead. All would remember the six sixes off Stuart Broad here, and on Friday he made it his own as a bowler as well. Those three wickets in the middle of the innings – Robin Uthappa, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher – effectively ended Bangalore’s chances of making their total a daunting one.
The innings was actually a story of two bowlers, actually three, one fielder and a batsman. The bowlers were Yuvraj and Yusuf Abdulla, who snared four wickets to grab the purple cap, and the fielder is Piyush Chawla, who managed to take three catches but the grassed the fourth, which would have given Abdulla his fifth wicket.
Abdulla was a combination of great and strange things. His first over was a wicket-maiden, but by the end of the innings, he had gone for nine runs per over, despite his four wickets.
The batsman was Roleof van der Merwe. Had it not been for the fiery South African’s knock of 35 off just 19 balls, with the aid of three boundaries and three sixes, Bangalore wouldn’t have a ghost of a chance of making a fight in the second innings.
Van der Merwe has tremendous forearm strength and anything he connects with seems to be headed out of the ground. One wonders how many more runs he’d have scored had he kept his eyes on the ball.
But having said that, there was precious little to offer in terms of the batting. Jesse Ryder disappointed again, while Bishnoi tried his best, which wasn’t good enough.
One bowler more needs to be mentioned. Vikramjeet Malik may not be one of the stars of the Punjab side, but he had struck a vital blow for them in the match with Mumbai Indians, taking care of Sachin Tendulkar. He was possibly the unluckiest bowler of them all on Friday, since almost every batsman he bowled to was dropped somewhere in the field. Had that not happened, Bangalore would have lost within the first 15 overs.