RCB virtually in semifinals

Kumbles men crush Royals by five wickets, rise to second spot

RCB virtually in semifinals

The Challengers restricted the Royals to 130 for six at the Sawai Man Singh stadium and powered to 132 for five with 26 deliveries to spare, the five-wicket triumph returning Anil Kumble’s men back to second in the standings.

The Challengers have 14 points from 13 games, and round off their league engagements at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Saturday against the Mumbai Indians.  With a healthy run rate, the Challengers are well positioned to make it to the last four stage.

It was an all-round display by the bowlers, but Kevin Pietersen made it his own show with the bat. The former England skipper, recalled to the playing eleven ahead of Cameron White and promoted to number three, smashed the Royals bowling around on his way to his second IPL half-century.

The right-hander’s 29-ball 62 (10x4, 2x6) made up for a rare failure for Jacques Kallis. Indeed, the margin of victory would have been even more impressive had the Challengers not lost a few wickets towards the end in the quest for quick runs.

There were few runs to be had in the evening when the Royals batted. The Challengers maintained a strangehold on the home side for a majority of the innings as the Royals lost wickets regularly without anything to show on the board.

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