SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (WNN) – Royal Challengers Bangalore qualified for their second successive playoffs in the Indian Premier League with a six-run win over Punjab Kings on Sunday.
Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals have already made it to the last four with 18 points each. Bangalore join the top two and have 16 points. All three teams still have two league matches to play.
The defeat pushed Punjab into a very tight corner with 10 points after 13 matches. He needs to win his last league game on Thursday against a formidable rival Chennai, but that also requires results from other games.
Punjab’s batsmen continued to disappoint captain KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal’s confidence in the tournament as the team were reduced to 158-6 in their unsuccessful chase.
Glenn Maxwell (57) had earlier hit four sixes and three boundaries to push Bangalore’s total to 164-7, while Moises Henriques bowled a poor 3-12 and Mohammed Shami (3-39) last. Took all his wickets in the over.
Bangalore captain Virat Kohli, who won the toss and batted on a slow wicket, said: “Winning eight out of 12 matches is a great campaign, (and) we have two more chances to finish in the top two.”
“KL (Rahul) and Mayank (Agarwal) batted really well but we knew we were just two wickets away from getting back in the game.”
Agarwal (57) and the tournament’s top scorer Rahul (39) took Punjab to 91 in the 11th over before Punjab captain Rahul was caught at short third man.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3-29) hit thrice in two consecutive overs which included the dismissal of Agarwal as Punjab lost wickets at regular intervals.
Both Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran were caught attempting sweep shots against Chahal, while Sarfaraz Khan was stunned by a sharp turner from Chahal on the very first ball that hit the top of the off-stump.
Devdutt Padikkal (40) and Kohli (25) laid a watchful foundation for Bangalore with 68 runs in almost 10 overs, with Padikkal surviving a controversial catch on the back of the decision.
De Villiers was run out in the final over before AB de Villiers (23) and Maxwell continued at a brisk pace with the fourth wicket of 73 for 73 in the latter part of the innings.
Rahul said, ‘To be honest, our batting has let us down. “In T20s, the top two or three make up the bulk of the runs…
Sunrisers Hyderabad will play Kolkata Knight Riders in the second game on Sunday.
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