x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Kings XI Punjab hold their nerve to triumph in the IPL

Three run outs threatened to gift win to the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Kings XI Punjab's Azhar Mahmood, second left, took three wickets in the win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Kings XI Punjab's Azhar Mahmood, second left, took three wickets in the win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Piyush Chawla hit a six off the penultimate ball to guide the Kings XL Punjab to a win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore last night in the Indian Premier League after they had threatened to throw away victory from a dominant position.

Chasing Bangalore's below-par total of 158 for five, Punjab appeared to be cruising when they stood at 146 for two with just 13 runs needed off 24 balls.

But the dismissal of Nitin Saini (50) triggered a dramatic collapse as Punjab lost four wickets for eight runs - three of which were run outs - to leave them teetering and suddenly in danger of losing the game, requiring five runs off four balls.

But Chawla kept his nerve as he hooked Vinay Kumar's fifth ball of the final over the boundary to give his side their fifth victory of the tournament.

Chawla said he had been confident that if he made good contact with the ball he would win the match for his side.

In the post match television interview he said: "All the fielders were around the bat so I knew if I got even a bit of the middle [of the bat] on it then it would go past the fielders."

David Hussey, the Punjab captain in the absence of the injured Adam Gilchrist, was relieved to see his side cross the winning line to move up to fourth in the Indian Premier League table.

The Australian, who scored 45, but was one of the three batsman, along with Azhar Mahmood and Abhishek Nayar, to be run out, said: "We tried to clutch defeat from the jaws of victory, but a win is a win."

Bangalore had looked on target for a big score as a stand of 119 for the second wicket between Chris Gayle (71) and Virat Kohli (45) had them on 126 for two after 15 overs.

But only 32 runs came off the last five overs once Gayle had departed, with Mahmood keeping things tight as he took three for 20 to frustrate the home batsman.

Daniel Vettori, the Bangalore captain, said: "We need to get back on that roll of winning and make the semis. The last five overs of both innings were interesting, lots of wickets lots of pressure. Only scoring 30 runs off our last five overs really hurt us."

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE