AHMEDABAD, India – Nicholas Pooran registered his fourth ‘duck’ in his sixth innings to underline his slump but veteran West Indies teammate, Chris Gayle, produced a quick-fire knock as Punjab Kings thumped Royal Challengers Bangalore by 34 runs in the Indian Premier League on Friday.
Sent in at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Kings rallied to a competitive 179 for five from their 20 overs, with captain KL Rahul hitting an unbeaten 91 off 57 deliveries and Gayle stroking 46 from 24 balls.
Pooran, without a meaningful score in the tournament, lasted only three deliveries and now has a measly 28 runs from six innings.
In reply, RCB stumbled to 143 for eight off their 20 overs with left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar following up his 17-ball 25 with a superb spell of three for 19 from his four overs to clinch Man-of-the-Match honours.
Captain Virat Kohli struck 35 from 34 balls at the top of the order while Rajat Patidar and Harshall Patel both got 31 but RCB suffered a mid-innings slump and never recovered.
With the result, RCB missed out on the opportunity to top the eight-team league, remaining third on 10 points, separated from leaders Chennai Super Kings and the second placed Delhi Capitals on net run rate only.
Kings, meanwhile, climbed to fifth on six points with their third win in seven outings.
They lost Prabhsimran Singh cheaply for seven in the fourth over with the score on 19 but Rahul controlled the innings, first in an 80-run stand with Gayle for the second wicket and then in a 61-run unbroken sixth wicket partnership with Harpreet.
All told, Rahul pummeled seven fours and five sixes while the left-handed Gayle counted half-dozen fours and a brace of sixes before gloving a short ball from Australian left-arm speedster Daniel Sams and falling to a catch at the wicket in the 11th over.
Pooran entered at the fall of Gayle’s wicket but saw his wretched run continue when he sparred at a short one from New Zealand quick Kyle Jamieson and was taken at backward point.
Facing a run chase with a required run rate of nine runs an over, RCB never really got going and lost Devdutt Padikkal for seven at 19 for one in the third over.
Kohli and Patidar added 43 for the second but the stand required 46 balls and when Kohli and Australian Glenn Maxwell (0) perished off successive deliveries in the 11th over from Brar, RCB were nowhere at 62 for three.
The wicket of South African AB de Villiers two overs later with seven runs added left RCB in further trouble at 69 for four and not even Harshal’s pulsating 13-ball cameo in a 48-run, ninth wicket partnership with Jamieson (16 not out) could rescue the run chase.