Kallis leads RCB to stunning victory

Uthappa plays stinging knock as Bangalore batter Kings XI Punjab

Kallis leads RCB to stunning victory

Leader of the pack: RCB’s Jacques Kallis in an aggressive mood against Kings XI on Tuesday. DH photo / Srikanta Sharma RDespite possessing some of the finest batsmen in their ranks, never in the two previous editions had the Challengers managed to cross 200. On the evidence of their show against Kolkata Knight Riders in the opener, there was little to suggest that the home side would surmount Kings XI’s 203.

Jacques Kallis (89 n.o., 57b, 8x4, 5x6) and Robin Uthappa (51, 20b, 4x4, 4x6), however, batted like a dream to power the Challengers to an impressive win at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Tuesday, a true Ugadi block-buster that saw over 400 runs scored in just under 40 overs.

Chasing a daunting 203 for three, which Kings XI managed on the back of openers Ravi Bopara (77, 49b, 9x4, 2x6) and Manvinder Bisla (76, 52b, 6x4, 5x6) after opting to bat first, Challengers replied with 204 for two in 18.5 overs to open their account in the third edition. This was Kings XI's second successive defeat after their loss to Delhi Daredevils in Mohali.

Kallis and Manish Pandey (38, 25b, 2x4, 3x6) gave the hosts the desired start, stacking up 74 for the opening wicket in just over eight overs. But the rollicking start was not even half the job done when Uthappa changed the complexion of the game with a blinder of a knock. The Kodava lad hasn't been in the best of forms, but Kumble's decision to promote the feisty right-hander turned out to be a master stroke.

Having warmed up with a six off Yusuf Abdulla over mid-wicket, Uthappa paid special attention to an unsuspecting S Sreesanth in the next over and plundered the Kerala paceman for 25 runs (6, 6, 2, 6, 4, 1). After treating the goodly holiday crowd to some stunning hits, Uthappa was out soon after reaching his fifty, by which time he had raised 69 runs in just 36 balls with Kallis.

After that, it was left to a well-set Kallis to steer the Challengers home and the South African did so in fine fashion. If Uthappa gave the chase the desired push, Kallis swung the game decisively in Challengers' favour, launching into left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma, a replacement for Ramesh Powar. The right-hander carted Sharma for three towering sixes, all over mid-wicket, in the 18th over to collect 22 runs off it and reduce the Challengers' task to a mere formality.

Kings XI may not have envisaged such an outcome after amassing what appeared a winning total. Bopara was slow off the blocks, but Bisla, initially edgy, got into the attacking mode quickly as the Haryana player, who was with Deccan Chargers before, raced to his fifty in just 37 balls. Happy to play second fiddle till then, Bopara too then switched gears with a six off Kumble over long-on. None of the bowlers was spared and none of Kumble's efforts to get the wicket materialised as the duo realised 129 runs in 86 balls before Bisla departed.

Bopara, though, was unrelenting and with Mahela Jayawardane chipping in with a little cameo (26 off 13) towards the end, Kings XI did coast to a big total, but not big enough to fetch them victory.

SCORE BOARD
KINGS XI PUNJAB: Ravi Bopara c Kumble b Praveen 77 (49b, 9x4, 2x6), Manvnder Bisla c Morgan b Kallis 76 (52b, 6x4, 5x6), Yuvraj Singh c Morgan b Steyn 9 (6b, 1x4), Mahela Jayawardene (not out) 26 (13b, 3x4, 1x6), Irfan Pathan (not out) 3 (1b). Extras (B-1, LB-1, NB-1, W-9) 12. Total (for 3 wkts, 20 overs) 203.
Fall of wickets: 1-129 (Bisla), 2-141 (Yuvraj), 3-194 (Bopara).
Bowling: Praveen Kumar 4-0-43-1 (w-4), Dale Steyn 4-0-36-1 (w-2), Jacques Kallis 4-0-39-1, Anil Kumble 4-0-40-0, Vinay Kumar 2-0-19-0, Virat Kohli 2-0-24-0 (w-5, nb-1).
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 35/0; 10: 87/0; 15: 133/1; end of innings: 203/3 in 20 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 50/0.
RCB: Manish Pandey c Pathan b Chawla 38 (25b, 2x4, 3x6), Jacques Kallis (not out) 89 (57b, 8x4, 5x6), Robin Uthappa c Kaif b Sharma 51 (20b, 4x4, 4x6), Virat Kohli (not out) 16 (12b, 1x4, 1x6). Extras (LB-1, NB-5, W-4) 10. Total (for 2 wkts, 18.5 overs) 204.
Fall of wickets: 1-74 (Pandey), 2-143 (Uthappa).
Bowling: Irfan Pathan 3-0-33-0, S Sreesanth 3-0-42-1 (w-3, nb-5), Yusuf Abdulla 2.5-0-36-0 (w-1), Piyush Chawla 3-0-20-1, Yuvraj Singh 2-0-18-0, Bipul Sharma 3-0-37-1, Ravi Bopara 2-0-17-0.
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 43/0; 10: 89/1; 15: 149/2; end of innings: 204/2 in 18.5 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 61/0.

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