Ruthless Royal Challengers Bangalore, rejuvenated by a bowling performance of the highest quality, wrecked Kings XI Punjab at their high scoring home venue, bowling them out for a measly 88. Virat Kohli then promoted himself to the top and oversaw the run chase, with Parthiv Patel and him making no mistake in a 92-run association that sealed the game and kept them alive in the tournament. Here are the key moments from the clash at Indore.
Chris Gayle dropped!
When Kohli won the toss and chose to send Kings XI Punjab in, the first thing he discussed in the team huddle would have been about breaking the daunting opening pairing of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle. The two have been a menace for opposition teams with their strike rates of 165.24 and 145.6 respectively in the powerplay overs and were even more dangerous on a batting strip like Indore where KKR had racked up 245 a few nights ago.
However, all the pep talk seemed to have gone to deaf ears as Parthiv let Gayle off the hook in the very first over. Finding some early swing, Umesh realised that he needed to get into Test match mode and peppered the outside off-stump channel against the self-proclaimed Universal Boss.
The first ball was solidly defended but when one straightened past Gayle the next ball, he could only tamely poke at it and the resultant edge carried to Parthiv’s left. The keeper put in a full length dive and managed to get a whole hand onto the ball but let it slip by. Luckily for RCB, the drop didn't cost much as Umesh himself snaffled up the big fish soon.
Live by the sword, die by the sword
The short ball on the Indore surface seemed an imprudent delivery. The first by Southee had disappeared into the second tier after Rahul rocked back and nailed the pull. An over later, Umesh landed one near his head gear and Rahul once again took no mercy and sent the ball into the night sky and beyond the ropes.
When Gayle, who seemed a little awkward with the extra bounce, was targeted by Southee with bumpers, the big West Indian butchered him through mid-wicket. It seemed bizarre that the RCB bowlers were continuing to test the duo with short balls when the fuller length ones were clearly more difficult to deal with.
Yet, Umesh's skiddy pace meant that Rahul, who was having a go at everything close to his head, top-edged a bouncer to deep square-leg where Colin de Grandhomme held onto a regulation catch.
Gayle, taking cue from Rahul, took on Umesh next over off another short ball and the result wasn't too great. The extra zip and pace forced a top edge that went sky high and dropped 10 seconds later to the awaiting hands of Mohammad Siraj.
Chahal does a loopy Bravo
When you hear yorkers, the first image that comes to your mind is a fast bowler steaming in and bowling a full throttle toe crusher. However, the IPL has a weird way of construing norms and Yuzvendra Chahal took on the mantle of exhibiting some magic at Indore.
The leggie had been a revelation this season despite RCB’s ordinary campaign and capped of the franchise's best day in the field with a loopy, flighted yorker that had Marcus Stoinis completely flummoxed.
Going against the conventional method of bowling yorkers, Chahal flighted the ball above eye level and let it dip in quickly to leave Stoinis baffled. The batsman was late in bringing the bat down, not reading the dip of the delivery well, and his stumps were in disarray. We have seen Dwayne Bravo's slowest of slower balls do similar damage and Chahal seemed to have taken a cue from the West Indian.
The wrong 'T’
RCB were all over Kings XI Punjab when Andrew Tye tried to smash a back of the length delivery from Umesh in the 13th over. The outside edge was apparently found as Parthiv and Umesh seemed to be certain of an edge. The umpire agreed much to Tye’s surprise and the Australian immediately signalled for a DRS review.
However, after a chat with Axar Patel at the other end, Tye seemed to have changed his mind and walked off. A furious Kohli was appalled to know that the review wasn't sent upstairs for Tye had clearly shown the 'T’ symbol to the umpire.
Kings XI retained the review as the umpires decided to put a veil on matters and asked Kohli to get on with the game. The decision seemed baffling given that Tye had clearly signalled for the review before changing his mind.