Gilchrist spoils Challengers' party

Gilchrist spoils Challengers' party

Gilchrist spoils Challengers' party

If it was David Miller who bludgeoned Royal Challengers Bangalore to defeat in Mohali, it was another left-hander — Adam Gilchrist —- who ended their unbeaten run at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.

The Kings XI skipper hammered an unbeaten 85 (54b, 10x4, 3x6) as the visitors scaled down the home team’s competitive total of 174/5 with 11 balls to spare here on Tuesday. The win not only kept Kings XI’s slender hopes of qualifying for the play-offs alive but also left Royal Challengers’ chances of making the last-four hanging by a thin thread.

Having begun the season on a roaring note, the Royal Challengers may not have envisaged such a situation. When the side led by Virat Kohli left Bangalore for their away games, they were sitting pretty on top of the table with 12 points, courtesy their six wins at home.

The Challengers are facing a potential exit with just 16 points from 15 games.
 Their progress now depends on other results going in their favour.

Kings XI’s seven-wicket win ensured that the top three in the table—Mumbai Indians, Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals—are through to the play-offs, leaving four aspirants fighting for the lone spot to complete the line-up.

 Kings XI and Kolkata Knight Riders, both on 12 points and with a potential to log maximum of 16 points, have slim hopes—both Challengers and Sunrisers have to lose all their three remaining matches between them for such an eventuality. In that scenario, all four teams will finish on 16 points and the team with a better net run-rate will earn the qualification.

However, Challengers’ first home defeat in seven outings has enhanced Sunrisers’ chances as they have two matches in hand against Bangalore’s one. If RCB hope to finish in the top four, not only do they have to win their final league match against the mighty Super Kings but they also need Sunrisers to lose at least one of their last two games and pray that their superior run-rate is maintained.