Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) defeated Kings XI Punjab by one run in a smashing encounter of the Indian Premier League on Monday at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium.

Punjab won the toss and elected to bowl first. Lokesh Rahul and Virat Kohli gave a strong start to RCB. They both smashed 50 runs in the powerplay without losing a wicket. Rahul was batting aggressively as he smashed 42 runs off 25 balls. Virat and Rahul were cruising RCB to a challenging total. Punjab was trying hard to break the momentum but Rahul was thrashing fours and sixes along with Virat on the other side of the crease.

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RCB was at 61 runs in seven overs and they were led to set up the big score but Cariappa halted their march as he broke the partnership and dismissed Rahul in the 8th over. The dismissal of Rahul was followed by Virat Kohli as Cariappa sent him back too on the 5th ball of the 8th over.

Punjab was back in the game, A.B. de Villiers and Shane Watson were playing but Axar Patel reduced Watson on the fourth ball of the 9th over. RCB was at 67/3 in nine overs. RCB was looking like a sinking ship but South African smasher A.B. de Villiers along with Sachin Baby played a crucial inning. He knocked 64 runs off 35 balls and Baby smashed 33 runs off 29 balls.

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De Villiers ensured that the team reached a defendable total but he was dismissed by Sandeep Sharma in the 18th over of the game. Travis Head came to play but after hitting 11 runs he was dismissed by Sandeep Sharma. Baby was playing patiently and scoring runs for RCB but he got run out on the last ball of the innings.

RCB posted a challenging total of 175 runs with the loss of 6 wickets.

Punjab openers Murali Vijay and Hashim Amla opened the innings with a blazing start. Chasing 175 Vijay played a brilliant knock of 89 runs off 57 balls. Vijay and Amla posted 45 runs in the powerplay. Amla scored 21 runs off 20 balls but in the 6th over Shane Watson dismissed him.

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Wriddhiman Saha came and added 43 run with Vijay for Punjab but got run out by keeper Lokesh Rahul at 16. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed South African power-hitter David Miller in the very next ball.

Stoinis joined Vijay and they both went on a spree. Marcus Stoinis smashed an unbeaten 34 runs off 22 balls. RCB needed a wicket and Virat decided to go with Watson again and his spell worked as Watson dismissed Vijay. It was a much-needed wicket for RCB.

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Punjab needed 17 runs in the last over to win but South African Farhaan Behardien and Stoinis could only add 15 runs. Punjab fell short by a run and RCB won the game.

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10 May, 2016
Avni S. Singh

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