IPL play-off race tightens further as RCB batter Kings XI
The race for the Indian Premier League play-offs tightened further on Monday as Royal Challenges Bangalore battered Kings XI Punjab by 10 wickets.
After an encouraging start from Lokesh Rahul (21) and Chris Gayle (18), Kings XI slumped from 36 without loss to 88 all out.
And RCB needed only 8.1 overs to knock off the target of 89, Virat Kohli at his typically brilliant best as he came within two runs of a half-century in just 28 balls.
Kings XI are outside the top four in fifth place after a third successive defeat. They are level with Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals on 12 points, while RCB's hopes are very much alive as victory moves them on to 10 points, along with Mumbai Indians.
RAHUL & GAYLE OFFER ENCOURAGEMENT
Kings XI looked primed for an impressive innings when Rahul and Gayle combined for a strong start.
Gayle seemed to be tuning up for a typically devastating knock when he struck three fours in the fourth over, but Rahul's third six was followed immediately by his dismissal as he hit Umesh Yadav to Colin de Grandhomme at deep square.
His opening partner went into almost identical circumstances in the same over, following up a four by striking to Mohammed Siraj at deep square.
The exits of Rahul and Gayle in the fifth over prompted a remarkable collapse, the next eight wickets falling for just 47 runs.
Karun Nair (1), Marcus Stoinis (2) and Mayank Agarwal (2) all went for single figures, Aaron Finch (26) proving the last pillar of resistance.
But he was the only other batsman to reach double figures and when the Australian found Kohli at deep midwicket off Moeen Ali to leave RCB on 78-6 the writing was on the wall, with three of the final four wickets coming via run out.
KOHLI & PARTHIV CANTER TO WINNING RUNS
The meagre target was never likely to be a problem for Bangalore but the speed in which Kohli and Parthiv Patel reached it was still impressive.
Kohli struck six fours and a pair of maximums in his 28-ball 48, as Parthiv provided more than able support, his 40 encompassing seven boundaries, with victory secured with 71 balls remaining.