Punjab Kings 179/5 (20 ov)
Punjab Kings won by 34 runs.
That was all she had written for tonight - a comprehensive victory for the Punjab Kings and one that was much-needed. Only time will tell if this is the start of a special surge towards the second half, much like they picked themselves up last season. It's been a real pleasure bringing the coverage of this game to you - thank you so much for tuning into Sportskeeda for the same. The week might be over but the weekend is upon us and what better a game than the IPL's El Clasico - Mumbai Indians versus Chennai Super Kings - to ring it in? Do be back at the same time and the same space tomorrow for the coverage of the same. For now though, on behalf of my colleague Shashwat Kumar, this is Sooryanarayanan Sesha humbly requesting you to mask up, sanitize those hands, maintain social distancing and stay indoors. Good night and stay safe!
The residents of the district of Moga will be a delighted lot tonight. It was put on the national map by a certain Harmanpreet Kaur and tonight, a new star has risen from the same land. Harpreet Brar - we might see a lot of him in the games to come hereafter. Aside from accounting for the big fish in the RCB lineup, his 17-ball unbeaten 25 was perhaps even more critical in giving the Kings enough momentum heading into the second innings. And of course, to do it in the company of his skipper KL Rahul, who himself made a sublime unbeaten 91, must have made it even more special. Not quite the night for RCB though, and they will look to get back to winning ways by keeping this game aside as an aberration amidst a great first half to the tournament.
Harpreet Brar (Player of the Match): My family will be very happy. It's their good wishes and blessings that have brought me this far. As a bowler, I had the opportunity to make a good comeback and I wanted to do that. My first ever IPL wicket is Virat Kohli - that immediately makes you feel good and the ball came out well thereafter. (On his batting) I felt that I could assess the situation for a couple of overs and then go after the ones in the slot (Translated from Hindi).
KL Rahul (Punjab Kings Captain): (Where was Harpreet all these days?) I can say now that we were preparing him. Having played a game here, on a pitch like this, we felt we needed a finger spinner who could bowl hard lengths and hit the deck. That was the idea behind getting Harpreet in and he batted really well towards the end as well. I've been trying to speak to the boys and pass on whatever little experience I've had in international cricket. In terms of talent and skill they have plenty of it but we try to help them handle pressure situations. They came out and executed brilliantly and we're very happy. (On his record against RCB?) We've always played them at a time when they've all been must win games for us. I had enough time in the middle and tried to put pressure on them. I tried to the best of my ability and it paid off. (On Chris Gayle) There are a lot of thoughts outside the team as to whether he should be playing but I know what he brings to the team, not just as a player but also with his experience. He'll do everything for the team and he's been as hungry as always. It's always great to have that experience in the team.
Even in the absence of dew, defending a total against the might of the RCB batting lineup was never going to be an easy task. Yet, the body language from the Punjab Kings was totally different to their campaign thus far. Riley Meredith was brought in to add some extra pace to the attack and did that make a difference or what! Both Meredith and Mohammad Shami were probing away at the opening batters and kept things tight while hitting the hard lengths. Devdutt Padikkal got a wide one away over the ropes before being beaten by the sheer velocity of Meredith as his off-stump went for a cartwheel.

Rajat Patidar joined skipper Virat Kohli out there in the middle and despite the duo's attempt to push up the scoring rate, not one of Punjab Kings' bowlers took the foot of the gas in applying the choke. If the seamers were lethal, the spinners were nagging as RCB could muster all of 62 off the first 10 overs, with Patidar in particular, failing to middle the ball.

The pressure of the asking rate eventually got to the batters and that's when Harpreet Brar, playing his first game of the season, got into the contest. If he castled Kohli with the arm ball as the skipper stepped out to accelerate, then the delivery to get Glenn Maxwell was sheer sorcery! The ball started holding in the surface and suddenly the young left-arm tweaker found himself bowling a hat-trick ball to AB de Villiers. He may not have got the hat-trick but he would return to dismiss de Villiers a couple of overs later to spell doomsday for the Royal Challengers. 

There was simply no way out thereafter as the intensity was right up there from the Punjab bowlers. Wickets kept falling like dominoes and all RCB could salvage were the few lusty blows from the bats of Harshal Patel and Kyle Jamieson that brought the margin of defeat down to 34 runs - still a massive victory for the Punjab Kings and one that sees them end the first half of their campaign on the right note.

Shami and Meredith were relentless with the ball and Chris Jordan didn't let their work go futile himself. The run-rate was kept at around a run-a-ball pretty much throughout the first 15 overs and the spin choke from Ravi Bishnoi and the man of the moment, Harpreet Brar, firmly shut the door on the Royal Challengers.
Chris Jordan (Punjab Kings): Great win - that's what we set out to do today. We needed to start on the right note and it's good to get out and win today. I wasn't really thinking about it (his pace) too much - just tried to get the job done. It was nice to push into the 140s though. When we got to that total we were very happy. At one stage we would have taken 158-162 and would have had make it work. We picked up wickets and were able to stop any momentum they were able to get. Solid team work and hopefully we work in the right direction. It (the total) can give you a boost. We always talk about doing things as a team - even if the batters don't get the runs we have to go and give it all.
Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore Captain): They got off to a decent start and we pulled things back really well. We probably gave 25 runs extra towards the end. We should have kept them down to 160 having had them at 115/5. But we deviated away from out plans and focused too much on their batters. With the bat, it was tough to hit through the line. It was about getting a partnership. Even while getting those boundaries the strike rate was just 110 and above. Something we weren't able to do as a batting unit and we need to address this going forward. (On why no Maxwell/de Villiers at 3) The composition of our team is such that somebody like Rajat - if you saw him in the last game he batted really well. We want him to bat freely. Sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn't. It's situational and it depends on the balance of our lineup. It didn't come off tonight for Rajat but he's a good player. (Positives?) We came back really well with the ball especially after the way Chris Gayle and Rahul played. We could have still squeezed them more with an extra wicket but we didn't execute our plans well towards the end. Eventually a 34-run margin (of defeat) - Harshal and Jamieson got us to a good total with those big runs towards the end.
A performance right out of the top drawer for the Punjab Kings - they win this contest by 34 runs! A massive victory against a team in top form!
145 /8 score
cricket ball icon Mohammed Shami
19.6 Mohammed Shami to Mohammed Siraj, THAT WILL BE THAT! Full delivery slanted across the batsman outside off stump. Siraj swings like a rusty gate from his crease and is nowhere near the ball as it fizzes well past the outside edge of the bat. RCB have been consigned to their second defeat this season and it could have a damaging effect!
Shami to bowl around the wicket.
19.5 Mohammed Shami to Kyle Jamieson, full delivery on middle and off stump. Jamieson clears his front leg and shanks that one down the ground towards long on for a single
Mohammad Siraj, right-handed bat, comes to the crease. He will be at the non-striker's end.
RAVI BISHNOI! That's twice in two games that he's plucked out a screamer of a catch! It's been a happy night for the Punjab Kings!
19.4 Mohammed Shami to Harshal Patel, OUT! WHAT A CATCH BY BISHNOI! Low full toss on middle and leg stump. Patel backs away and arrows that one towards the sweeper at long off, who runs in off the fence and snaffles up a superb catch diving forward! What a take! 
19.3 Mohammed Shami to Harshal Patel, EDGED AND FOUR! Back of a length delivery outside off stump. Patel gives it everything he has and slashes that one over short third man for four
Mohammad Shami to bowl around the wicket.

Mohammad Shami, right-arm fast medium, is back into the attack.
Meredith goes off the field. Could be precautionary and given how he bowled tonight especially, the Punjab Kings would hope that it is not too painful. Shami will complete the over in his absence.
19.2 Riley Meredith to Kyle Jamieson, length delivery on middle and leg stump. Jamieson backs away and then drills that one into the bowler's knee, who is, understandably, in a lot of pain
19.1 Riley Meredith to Kyle Jamieson, SIX! Dug into the track at the batsman on leg stump. Jamieson opens up his stance and absolutely mousses that one over the mid wicket fence for six!
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