Durban, April 25 (Inditop) A cracking 84 from Ravi Bopara helped Kings XI Punjab finally taste success in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Friday night as they defeated Bangalore Royal Challengers by seven wickets at the Newlands here.
Chasing a target of 169, Man of the Match Bopara and skipper Yuvraj Singh (30 not out) shared a match winning 66-run stand off 40 balls for the third wicket as Kings XI made 173 for three in 19 overs.
For Kings XI Punjab, the win will put behind the disappointment of losing the last two rain interrupted matches on the Duckworth-Lewis Method.
After winning the toss, Bangalore Royal Challengers made 168 for nine in 20 overs as Jacques Kallis made 62. For Kings XI Punjab, Yusuf Abdulla (4-31) and Irfan Pathan (3-31) came up with inspiring performances that saw Royal Challengers slump to their third consecutive loss in the series.
Bopara played steadily and built his innings on ones and twos and kept the veteran Anil Kumble at bay. Kumble finished with figures of 1-19 from his four overs but didn’t get support from his fellow bowlers. Kallis failed to repeat his succes with the bat and gave away 51 runs in his four overs.
After the 10th over, Bopara and Yuvraj freed their arms and pressed the accelerator. Bopara hit five sixes and four fours in his 59-ball stay while Yuvraj stayed till the last to see his team home.
Earlier, Kallis with his 46-ball 62 helped Royal Challengers recover from a poor start and put 168 runs on board. Robin Uthappa yet again failed to justify his role in opening the innings and departed without opening his account.
But on the other end, Kiwi opener Jesse Ryder finally found the runs flowing his way and scored 32 runs from 21 balls. Putting behind the failure of getting out on zero on the last two occasions, Ryder stroked Ranadeb Bose crisply through the covers for a four in the third of the innings.
Bose, who was playing his first IPL match in his second season, found himself at the receiving end of Ryder’s furry as the New Zealand all-rounder hit the medium pacer for 18 runs in his second over.
Both Ryder and Kallis were in full flow and Royal Challengers looked set for a big total. But poor shot selection from Ryder saw his stumps rattled by Abdulla in the sixth over. Two balls later, Abdulla’s slower delivery saw skipper Kevin Pietersen spooning an easy catch to Karan Goel.
Rahul Dravid (10), who has been the man in form for the Royal Challengers, failed to contribute much and was caught after he tried to smash leg-spinner Piyush Chawla.
With the innings hanging at 73/4, Kallis and Ross Taylor (35) played some scintillating shots and added 61-runs for the fifth wicket. Kallis played stokes on both sides of the wicket, guiding Royal Challengers to set up a challenging target for Kings XI Punjab.
Abdulla then came back in his second spell to end the innings of both the batsmen, who were on a rampage.