Lucky Pieteresen guides Bangalore to win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Ground:Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali
Scorecard:Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Player:V Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, KC Sangakkara, KP Pietersen
Event:Indian Premier League 2009/10

DateLine: 2nd April 2010


Kings XI gave a much improved performance with the bat and ball but was let down by sloppy fielding as the side contrived to lose the DLF IPL 3 match to Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets at the PCA stadium here on Friday night.


Kings XI posted a competitive total of 181 for five with captain Sangakkara and Yuvraj Singh finally showing some signs of form. The bowling was restrictive without being penetrative but fielders leaked runs and catching was awful. Man-of-the-match Pietersen was dropped thrice - twice off successive balls - and the Englishmen made Punjab pay for it by notching up his maiden IPL fifty..


Robin Uthappa played yet another cameo (22 off 8 balls) to see his side through. With the match delicately poised (Challengers needed 48 off 24 balls), Robin flayed Brett Lee for a four and two sixes and the bowler also gifted five wides in that over which yielded 25 runs. Pietersen was reprieved twice in Pathan’s next over by Sharma and Sangakkara respectively which yielded two boundaries. After Uthappa’s exit, Pietersen and White found the odd boundaries as Bangalore won with five balls to spare.


To his credit, Pietersen held the innings together after the dismissal of the unconvincing Kallis. The Englishmen looked in superb touch as he struck two boundaries off his first three deliveries. While Chawla leaked runs, left arm spinner Bipul Sharma commanded respect and he checked the scoring rate in the middle overs.Pietersen was lucky when Sharma dropped a return catch. However, the ball ricocheted to the stumps catching Pandey, who had backed up too far, short.


Pietersen found an ideal ally in Kohli and the duo kept the scoreboard ticking with aggressive running interspersed with big shots. Yuvraj Singh won his personal battle with Pietersen and should count himself unlucky for not having the batsman leg before. Both the batsmen changed gears after break and Pathan was hardly a threat and gave away 20 runs in his two overs. Kohli and Pietersen hit three boundaries between them off those two overs.


Kohli danced down the track to deposit Bipul Sharma over long on for a six but the bowler had the last laugh when the batsman holed out to Pathan in the deep. In walked Uthappa and changed the match on its head. The fielders also lost their cool as Sreesanth and Bopara dropped regulation catches off Kohli and Pietersen respectively and to add insult to injury these misses gifted boundaries which made things easier for Bangalore.


Earlier, Kings XI put up their best batting performance. Though the tentative Shaun Marsh edged Vinay Kumar to Dravid at the slips and left early, Sangakkara was positive from the start. The Sri Lankan started with his languid square drive on bend knees as Vinay Kumar offered width. He also picked boundaries off Praveen Kumar and Steyn to keep the scoreboard moving. However, Bisla struggled to force the ball off square often mistiming as he tried hard to score runs off every delivery. When Kumble came on Sangakkara slog swept a four but Bisla got out trying for a scoop and looked foolish when he missed it.Yuvraj joined Sangakkara and the duo added runs in quick time after the break. Steyn came back and was lucky to dismiss Sangakkara when the batsmen pulled a short ball straight to Kallis at deep mid wicket. But Yuvraj carried on smashing a six and a four off a Kallis over.Steyn kept Yuvraj quiet with generous use of short balls. Kumble was pulled for a six and Yuvraj looked in mood when he got out at the wrong time to Kallis.


Bopara played the sheet anchor’s role to perfection and biffed boundaries off loose deliveries. Irfan Pathan (16 off five balls) played a short sweet innings which enabled his side to set a challenging target.