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Right then! The pandora box continues to dish out more entertaining stuff. A loss for Bangalore would have meant, they are out of the tournament. But they are not. It still remains a tough battle for the final 4 spots. Thursday, April 25, 2019, sees Kolkata host Rajasthan at 8 pm local (1430 GMT) at the Eden Gardens, in Match 43. How will that one unfold? Join us to find out at game time! ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
AB DE VILLIERS HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH for his blistering unbeaten knock of 82 in 44 balls. Says that in pressure situations, he just tries to stay calm but adds it is not easy as the game happens at pace. Tells that they know the home ground well even though their record here has not been good, but they always felt comfortable. Says he felt 160 was good while batting but says that dew plays an important factor and is showed in the second innings when it got a bit easy to bat.
Victorious Bangalore captain, Virat Kohli, says that it is good to win 4 games out of 5 but could have been 5 out of 5. Tells they are just enjoying the game and feels the partnership between AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis was a game changer. Tells the focus was only to play well as a team and losing 6 in a row was very disappointing as no one in this squad had faced it in the past. Reckons the break before the match in Mohali helped and the focus was then just to have fun and enjoy themselves. Adds that having 6-7 bowling options in this format is a luxury and the singles in the middle where Sundar and Moeen bowled were crucial and credits the bowlers for giving just 18 off the last 19 balls.
PARTHIV Patel is up next to chat. He says they have nothing to lose and tells that they were playing well but were unlucky to not get the wins. Tells he has been practicing hard and feels if he plays fast then Kohli can play his game. Smiles and says he ensures that there are 4 fielders inside the circle and the fielders are placed well and then he advises the bowlers where to bowl.
Punjab skipper, Ravichandran Ashwin, says that they were not able to win the crunch moments which are so crucial in this format. Reckons they have not been able to win those moments in this tournament and if they would have then they would have got 4 more points. Feels that they just need to get a win and back the players, telling that they have backed the players and kept the same batting line up. Adds that they have not been outplayed by any side and have always been in the game till the very end.
Earlier in the evening, an AB de Villiers special powered Bangalore to 202/4, with support from Parthiv Patel and Marcus Stoinis. They will be happy that the knock helped the team win. With this win, Bangalore move up to 7th but are on par with Kolkata with 8 points. Punjab stay where they were, on 5th at 10 points.
Tough luck for Punjab who will believe that they should have won that. But they needed one set batsman to bat till the end. But the top 5 just got starts and could not quite convert those. Not a great outing for the Bangalore bowlers but they stepped it up when it mattered, with Umesh Yadav taking 3 wickets while Saini got 2.
The man from Trinidad put on a show, smashing 46 from just 28 balls with 5 sixes in a 68-run stand with David Miller. 36 were needed in the last 3 overs and at that stage, it looked like Punjab had the game in their hands. But some superb death bowling by Umesh and Saini choked them again and the last 3 overs went for just 18 runs.
Punjab were coasting, at 105/3 in 10.1 overs when Rahul had got out. The next 3 overs went for just 11. That is where the game started to slip because suddenly, the required rate was above 11 an over. But then came a man called Nicholas Pooran.
Chasing a big total, one needs a good start. The 42-run opening stand in 20 balls laid the platform and then the 59-run stand for the second wicket between Rahul and Agarwal put Punjab on course. With 100-odd runs needed in 11 overs with 9 wickets in hand, they should have crossed the line, but then the dismissals of both Agarwal and Rahul choked the visitors slightly.
Bangalore are alive. Only just. Punjab fail to pull off a win which they needed desperately. They were on track for a majority of the game but somehow, let it slip.
19.6UYadav to MSingh
Safe. But the focus is on Kohli and his men. 4 wins on the trot against Punjab! Outside off, Mandeep punches this through the covers where the fielder misfields. AB de Villiers backs it up from long off and returns a good throw to the bowler who takes the bails off and appeals as the batsmen return for the second. It is taken upstairs and replays show that Murugan Ashwin is well in. BANGALORE WIN BY 17 RUNS!
Do we have a run out on the final ball? Does not matter. Bangalore have won but the umpires are checking this...
19.5UYadav to MAshwin
DROPPED! Does not matter in terms of the game result but Umesh has been denied a 4-fer. A short ball, around middle, Ashwin backs away and swings hard. The ball goes only as far as long on where Virat Kohli should have taken it but he grasses it. A single taken.
19.4UYadav to MAshwin
No hat-trick. Outside off, Murugan backs away and slashes hard but misses.
Murugan Ashwin is the new man in. He will face the hat-trick ball.
19.3UYadav to HViljoen
OUT! Caught down the leg side and Umesh has 3! A short ball, around middle and leg, Viljoen looks to pull but is done in by the pace. Only manages to get a top edge which is taken nicely by Parthiv Patel diving to his left. Is a hat-trick on the cards?
The new man in is Hardus Viljoen.
19.2UYadav to RAshwin
OUT! No MSD magic for Ravi Ash. A length ball again, once more Ashwin backs away to the leg side and looks to go big. But this time, he does not time it. Holes out to Virat Kohli at long on who takes it but then fumes at Umesh regarding the length. Not the best ball to be bowled at this stage...
19.1UYadav to RAshwin
SIX! Is Ashwin going to do an MSD? A length ball, around middle, Ashwin backs away and sends this sailing over long on! 21 needed from 5 balls...
Punjab skipper, Ravichandran Ashwin is the new man in. Umesh Yadav to bowl the last over and this time he has 26 to defend.
18.6NSaini to NPooran
OUT! Caught! Is that the final nail in the coffin? Pooran holes out and with that, perhaps, the last hopes for Punjab go out. A length ball, outside off, Nicholas backs away and looks to go big but skies this way too high in the air. He has the height but not the distance. AB de Villiers keeps his eyes on the ball but loses it in the night sky. However, he adjusts well in the end to take it slightly away from his body. Fine knock from the West Indian though.
18.5NSaini to MSingh
Full and outside off, sliced through cover for a single.
18.4NSaini to NPooran
Where did that go? Pooran's followthrough reminded me of my geometry class when I used to try and draw a circle or an arc with a compass. A short ball, around middle and leg, Nicholas backs away and looks to pull but is months early into the shot. The ball goes off the top edge and goes towards sweeper cover. A single taken.
18.3NSaini to MSingh
A short ball, pulled down to long on for a single. 29 needed from 9 balls now.
18.2NSaini to MSingh
Full and outside off, Mandeep gets down and across, tries to paddle but misses. He wants the bye but is denied. Pooran starved for 2 balls...
Mandeep Singh to bat next.
18.1NSaini to DMiller
OUT! AB takes a stunner and the crowd finds its voice back! Miller departs. A length ball, around middle and leg, David clears his front leg and looks to swing this through the line. The shot does not too much elevation but it does have enough power. The ball goes flat towards long on but AB de Villiers races to his right and dives full stretch to take a wonderful catch!
Navdeep Saini to bowl the penultimate over. 30 runs needed off 12 balls.
17.7UYadav to NPooran
A slower ball, outside off, 120.4 kph, Nicholas gets a long way across and slashes, only to miss. Does not get a wide either, as he was moving across. Sensational over from Umesh. 6 runs from it. Imagine what might have happened had he got the wicket of Pooran...
17.6UYadav to DMiller
The batsman has punched that ball through the off side. One run added to the total.
17.5UYadav to DMiller
WIDE. Pressure and frustration. Full and outside off, David lets it pass.
17.4UYadav to NPooran
DROPPED! Has Stoinis put the match down? A short ball, outside off, slower in pace, Pooran swings hard, looking to pull but is done in by the lack of pace. The ball goes high in the air and Marcus Stoinis at long on steadies himself under it. However, he plonks it at the last moment.
17.3UYadav to DMiller
Full and around off, Miller swings hard but the ball scoots off the inner half towards mid-wicket. A run taken.
17.2UYadav to NPooran
Backs away to the leg side and swings hard, does Pooran but mistimes it over the bowler. Just a single to long off.
17.1UYadav to DMiller
Around middle, pushed to the off side for a quick single.
Umesh Yadav back into the attack.
16.6TimSouthee to DMiller
On middle, pushed through mid on for one more. 11 from this over, 24 off the last 2.
16.5TimSouthee to DMiller
Outside off, on a length, Miller slashes hard but misses.
16.4TimSouthee to NPooran
ON THE HELMET! Something flies off as well. But Pooran seems to be fine as Southee checks on him. A short ball, around leg, Nicholas looks to pull but misses. The ball is too quick for him and hits him on the grille and goes to short fine leg. A run taken. Must have been a top edge since no leg bye was signalled.
16.3TimSouthee to DMiller
Outside off, pushed through the covers for a single.
16.2TimSouthee to DMiller
FOUR! THRASH! Banged in short, Miller pulls it with disdain over mid-wicket for a boundary! 39 more needed from 22 balls and Virat Kohli is beginning to look pensive...
16.1TimSouthee to DMiller
FOUR! Off the edge! Outside off, on a length, Miller looks to punch but the ball angles away, takes the outside edge and goes through the vacant slip cordon to the third man fence!
Tim Southee returns. 2-0-22-0 so far.
15.6MAli to NPooran
Outside off, Pooran looks to cut but misses. 13 from the over.