Kings XI Punjab batting coach, Wasim Jaffer,  has assured fans they will see West Indies batting legend Chris Gayle soon and insists the player is hungry to make his debut in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

The 41-year-old T20 superstar is yet to make an appearance for Kings XI who are off to a slow start to the IPL season.  After 5 games, the team sits at the bottom of the table with just one win and four losses.  The team has, however, so far not necessarily struggled with batting, having scored over 200 in two of the five games.

Jaffer, however, believes that Gayle’s match-winning capabilities could yet help the team turn their poor form around.

“It should happen soon. As I said, it needs to happen sooner than later. We don’t want to bring them when every game is a must-win game. Hopefully, we will have those guys featuring soon,” Jaffer told news agency Press Trust of India from Dubai.

“Chris looks very much ready and is keen to get on to the park, he has been training really well and has looked really good in the nets,” Wasim Jaffer said.

“He is such an impact player, we all know what he can do. I hope he turns up and turns it on straight away and changes the tide for all of us. He looks hungry and that is a very good sign for the franchise,” he added.

“I am hoping he plays quickly. We need match-winners, as many as possible. Not just for the next game, also for the rest of the tournament as he can easily win you four-five games on his own,” he further said.

Mumbai Indians won a third straight match and moved top of the Indian Premier League as they recorded a 57-run win over slumping Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday.

Suryakumar Yadav scored 79 not out from 47 balls as the Indians, who won the toss and elected to bat, set a strong total of 193-4 in Abu Dhabi.

Jos Buttler smashed 70 from 44 deliveries in response but he lacked meaningful support from any of his Royals team-mates, who will be eagerly anticipating the availability of Ben Stokes once his period of quarantine in the United Arab Emirates is over.

Jasprit Bumrah starred for the Indians with bowling figures of 4-20 – his best in the IPL – to ensure his team moved above the Delhi Capitals at the summit and condemned the Royals, who had won their first two matches, to a third consecutive defeat as they were bowled out for 136.
 

YADAV GOES BIG

After opener Quinton de Kock fell to IPL debutant Kartik Tyagi, Mumbai looked like they could be in trouble in their middle overs when Shreyas Gopal (2-28) removed Rohit Sharma (35) and Ishan Kishan (0) with successive deliveries.

Krunal Pandya went to Jofra Archer for 12 but Yadav pushed the Indians forward, bringing up his fifty with a four off Tom Curran.

Yadav established an unbeaten partnership worth 76 runs with Hardik Pandya (30 off 19) and finished with 11 fours and a pair of maximums for his highest IPL score.

POLLARD DENIES BRILLIANT BUTTLER

The Royals' hopes of being competitive were effectively dashed inside their opening three overs as they lost Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson to Trent Boult for ducks either side of Steve Smith swiping Bumrah to De Kock.

Rajasthan were in poor shape at 12-3 – the third game in a row they have been three down inside seven overs – but Buttler launched five maximums and found the rope four more times to give them hope.

However, a stunning catch from Kieron Pollard, who adjusted well in the deep after Buttler's shot initially hit his forearm, ended the wicketkeeper-batsman's electric knock.

Bumrah capped a commanding display from the Indians by dismissing Rahul Tewatia (5) and Gopal (1) in the same over before accounting for Archer at the end of his next set of six.

Delhi Capitals moved clear at the top of the Indian Premier League table courtesy of a resounding 59-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. 

A strong batting performance that benefited from a late onslaught by the big-hitting Marcus Stoinis powered Delhi to 196-4 after they had been put into bat by Virat Kohli.

Prithvi Shaw (42) was the aggressor in an opening stand worth 68 with Shikhar Dhawan, who contributed a more sedate 32 to the cause before departing in the 10th over. 

Rishabh Pant made 37 but it was Stoinis who stole the show in the closing overs, the Australian all-rounder blasting six fours and a pair of sixes as he made an unbeaten 53.

Bangalore's reply simply never recovered after a poor start that saw them slip to 43-3, AB de Villiers among those to fall early. 

Captain Kohli top-scored with 43 before becoming one of four wickets for the excellent Kagiso Rabada, who now has 12 in this year's tournament at an average of 12.50. 

There were two wickets apiece for Anrich Nortje and Axar Patel too, the Royal Challengers eventually finishing well shy on 137-9 from their 20 overs. 

STOINIS STUNS ROYAL CHALLENGERS 

Stoinis had endured a lean spell since starting the new IPL season with 53 against Kings XI Punjab in Delhi's opener.  

He had managed just 16 runs in three knocks since but was back to his destructive best against Bangalore, reaching his half-century off 24 deliveries as he added 89 for the third wicket with Pant.

FINCH SPARED DESPITE R-ASH MOVE

In 2019, Ravichandran Ashwin caused a stir when, as captain of Kings XI, he ran out Rajathan Royals' Jos Buttler at the non-striker's end, the batsman having left his crease before the ball had been delivered.

There was nearly a repeat when Ashwin had a similar situation with Aaron Finch here, but the India spinner opted instead to produce a stare at the out-of-position Bangalore batsman, followed quickly by a wry smile. 

Chennai Super Kings kick-started their 2020 Indian Premier League season on Sunday, as a record-breaking partnership from Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson secured an emphatic 10-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab. 

Kings XI enjoyed a reasonably strong start, but ultimately their total of 178-4 was nowhere near enough to put off Du Plessis and Watson, who set a new franchise record for the highest ever partnership, as they finished on 181-0. 

Chennai had suffered three successive defeats heading into the match and their opponents – led by KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal – gave every indication that it could be another tough outing. 

However, they failed to build on the early promise and a late burst never arrived, as captain Rahul edged behind for 63 straight after Nicholas Pooran – whose 33 off 17 indicated a little more urgency – was dismissed in the same Shardul Thakur over. 

While a little slow to get going, Du Plessis (87 not out) found his groove and toyed with Chris Jordan, hitting him for four fours in the space of five balls. 

Watson, who finished up unbeaten on 83, was clearly in the mood too, reaching his half-century in 31 balls – two quicker than his partner – as the Kings XI attack had no answer. 

Their 181-run alliance makes it the second-highest target chased down without losing a wicket in IPL history, with the Kings XI replacing them at the foot of the table.

AN EMPHATIC RESPONSE FROM WATSON 

Watson and Du Plessis were deadly here, swatting away all the Kings XI bowlers could throw at them, and they secured the handsome victory with 14 balls to spare. 

It was a particularly applaudable performance from Watson, whose four previous innings (1, 14, 33 and 4) had attracted criticism – there will be none of that here. 

"I felt like something that been slightly off, technically," he said in the post-match presentation ceremony. "So, it was nice for it to come off. It was just a combination of technique and intent. I was able to get the weight through the ball a lot better." 

ANOTHER DIFFICULT DAY 

It has been a poor start for Kings XI, who are left bottom of the IPL having lost four of five matches, and it is arguable that they paid the price for failing to push on in the second half of their innings. 

Rahul was 46 off 44 in the 15th over, and while the partnership of Watson and Du Plessis would have made it a tall order to get the better of the Super Kings anyway, a more aggressive mentality might have made the difference. 

Defending champions Mumbai Indians were clinical with both bat and ball as Sunrisers Hyderabad fell well short in a 34-run defeat in Sunday's Indian Premier League match. 

Quinton de Kock smashed 67 off 39 balls and a 78-run stand with Ishan Kishan (31) was fundamental in building the foundations for Mumbai's score of 208-5. 

Krunal Pandya's explosion in the final over, during which he battered Siddarth Kaul for 20 from four balls, helped Mumbai get to that tally, which seemed to be above par on a slow pitch. 

David Warner made a pedestrian start, though he picked up the pace to at least gave Sunrisers a fighting chance until his knock was ended on 60, departing in the 16th over to effectively end their hopes. 

There was little help in a disappointing middle-order showing, with pace trio James Pattinson (2-29), Trent Boult (2-28) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-41) doing the damage for Mumbai, who restricted Sunrisers to 174-7. 

Victory means Mumbai now have three wins and two defeats from five games to move top of the table, while a third loss for Sunrisers leaves them sixth.

 

QUINTON DE KOCK OF THE WALK 

Rohit Sharma (6) lasted just five deliveries but De Kock and Suryakumar Yadav (27) put on 42 before the big stand with Kishan boosted Mumbai. 

De Kock, who hit four fours and as many sixes, was the protagonist of the partnership, contributing 54 of the 78 runs. 

LACK OF SUPPORT FOR WARNER 

Pandya may have rued putting down Manish Pandey with a sitter at deep point when he went on to put on a 60-run partnership with Warner. 

But when Pandey clumsily chipped Pattinson to long off, Warner – who had five fours and two sixes in his 44-ball knock – was not helped by Kane Williamson (3) or Priyam Garg (8). 

When Warner got a thick edge to a slower one from Pattinson that was taken with a superb diving catch by Kishan at short third man, the game was up. 

Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer led the way as Delhi Capitals moved to the top of the Indian Premier League table with an 18-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders. 

The Capitals posted 228-4 - the highest total of this year's IPL - as Shaw (66) and Ayer (88 not out) shone at the top of the order before Rishabh Pant chipped in with a 17-ball 38. 

Kolkata would surpass 200 too as both teams reached that landmark total for a third successive game in Sharjah, Eoin Morgan (44) and Rahul Tripathi (36) smashing 47 runs from the 17th and 18th overs. 

However, the Knight Riders would come up short in making 210-8 as Anrich Nortje (3-33) helped the Capitals make it three wins from four.

Delhi had three half-century partnerships at the start of their innings and Iyer, who crashed six maximums and seven fours, and Pant did most of the damage as the Capitals accumulated 77 runs in the final five overs. 

The Knight Riders were well short at the halfway point of their reply at 94-3 and they lost Nitish Rana (58) and captain Dinesh Karthik in back-to-back balls to Harshal Patel in the 13th over. 

A rapid 44 off 18 deliveries from England's limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan raised their hopes, but he fell in the penultimate over to Nortje, who gave up just five runs across those six balls, leaving Kolkata with too much to do.

 

LEAN RETURNS FOR NARINE 

Kolkata have won two of their opening four games, but no one has struggled for them more than opener Sunil Narine. Bowled by Nortje for three here, meaning he has made just a combined 27 runs in four innings at the tournament. 

"We will discuss Narine's role with the coaches, but I have got full confidence in Narine," Karthik said afterwards. 

NORTJE COMES TO RABADA'S RESCUE 

Kagiso Rabada is the joint-leading wicket-taker in this edition of the IPL with eight victims, but he had a hard time against Morgan, who smashed the South African paceman for three successive sixes at the start of the 18th over, a pair of short balls and an attempted yorker getting the treatment. 

Fortunately for Rabada, compatriot Nortje removed Morgan in the next over to kill off the Knight Riders' hopes. 

West Indies pacer Sheldon Cottrell expressed delight at being able to recover from a stumble to start the current Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign, and backs his team Kings XI Punjab to do the same.

The KL Rahul-led franchise, which also features Chris Gayle, has had a tough start to the new season after winning only one of their first four matches.  In the last fixture, a 48-run loss to Mumbai Indians, Rahul raised eyebrows with his death bowling selection.  Rahul chose K Gowtham to bowl the last over against Mumbai, with the in-form Cottrell left to watch.

Gowtham gave away 25 runs, one of the reasons the Rohit Sharma-led side managed to post a hefty total.

Cottrell had earlier claimed the wicket of Quinton de Kock and conceded just 20 runs in his four overs.  The fast bowler had recovered from a tough outing against Rajasthan Royals',  where Rahul Tewatia smashed 5 sixes off one of his overs during a record run chase. 

Despite the circumstances, Cottrell, however, insisted he remained confident in Rahul’s decisions.

"Honestly, I back my skipper (KL Rahul) 110%. Whatever his decision is, I'm going to back it. It was a decision he felt was best for the team. It didn't work today (Thursday), unfortunately, but on another day I'm sure it will work," Cottrell said.

As for the tough outing against RR, the bowler insisted he never lost confidence and backed the team, to much like he has, recover from a slow start.

"My comeback was excellent. My confidence was always there. But I wish my bowling effort could have helped Kings XI cross the line. I'm feeling pleased about my performance," he added.

"I have been working hard on death bowling, and so have my bowling partners. We're getting there and we've been learning from our mistakes and practising it on the training grounds. I'm sure we're going to pull it off very soon. I wouldn't say worrying, it's just a matter of time for us.”

Virat Kohli ended his barren spell, while Devdutt Padikkal and Yuzvendra Chahal excelled again as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets to go top of the Indian Premier League.

Purple cap holder Chahal took 3-24 to restrict the Royals to 154-6 after Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat first in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Isuru Udana claimed 2-41, including the early dismissal of Smith, and Rajasthan needed a late flurry of runs from Mahipal Lomror (47) and Rahul Tewatia (24 not out) to post over 150.

That was not enough to prevent RCB from taking over at the summit as a second-wicket stand of 99 from Padikkal and Kohli set up an emphatic win at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

In-form 20-year-old opener Padikkal (63 off 45 balls) made his third half-century of the tournament and Kohli registered his first after failing in his previous three knocks.

Kohli finished unbeaten on 72 from 53 deliveries as his side secured a third victory out of four, the captain having given himself a lift by hitting the winning runs in a Super Over win over Mumbai Indians last time out.

The Royals are sixth with two wins and as many defeats, but they are set to be boosted by the arrival of England all-rounder Ben Stokes.

 

CHAHAL PURPLE PATCH CONTINUES

Chahal has made an outstanding start to the tournament and played a key role again after Smith and Jos Buttler were dismissed by Udana and Navdeep Saini respectively.

The tweaker struck with his first ball, with Sanju Samson caught and bowled, and the Royals were 70-4 halfway through their innings when Robin Uthappa holed out attempting to launch Chahal for six.

Lomror also fell to the wily Chahal, who applied the pressure with 10 dot balls as he joined Mohammed Shami on eight wickets in the tournament.

 

PADIKKAL ON A ROLL, KOHLI COMES GOOD

Padikkal has been a revelation for RCB at the top of the order and is now the fourth-highest run scorer in the tournament.

The young left-hander showed exquisite timing to dispatch Jaydev Unadkat for six over square leg and found the rope six times in another classy innings.

Much of the talk ahead of the match was over Kohli's lack of runs, but it was only a matter of time before the India captain delivered.

He brought up his 50 off 41 balls after being dropped by Tewatia, hitting two sixes and seven fours in a high-quality knock before AB de Villiers punched Sam Curran for four to seal victory.

Ben Stokes is on his way to the United Arab Emirates to link up with the Rajasthan Royals squad for the remainder of the Indian Premier League.

The England all-rounder missed the start of the tournament after heading to New Zealand to spend time with his family following his father Ged's brain cancer diagnosis.

Stokes has been in his country of birth since being given permission to leave the England squad following the victory over Pakistan in the first Test at Old Trafford early in August.

The 29-year-old said his "head wasn't in it" during that win in Manchester after he discovered his father's diagnosis.

Stokes is now set to return to action in the IPL once he has undergone the mandatory six-day quarantine following his arrival in Dubai.

He posted pictures of himself on Instagram with his family on Saturday with a caption of "Goodbye's [sic] never get easier."

The Royals then tweeted: "Hi guys, quick question. How long does it take from Christchurch to UAE?" followed by a picture of Stokes on a plane.

Kings IX Punjab opener KL Rahul is confident that Windies star Chris Gayle will be ready and capable when called on to deliver for the team.

So far, the big West Indian has been left viewing from the bench in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL).  In the meantime, Kings IX have struggled to one win and three losses.

The reasons for Gayle’s but breaking into the line-up is not as easy as it seems.  Despite his absence, KXIP has managed to put 200+ totals on the board in two of the four matches they have played. With the likes of Rahul and Mayank Agarwal at the top, Punjab has both the centurions of this IPL at their disposal, and hence the need to have Gayle in the team hasn’t really been felt.

The only player Gayle can come in the team for, at the moment, is his countryman Nicholas Pooran who has been batting at the No. 3 spot. Pooran’s fielding exploits, however, make it hard for the KXIP management to remove him from the team.  Rahul, however, remains convinced the West Indies will make an impact.

"It's been a lot of fun playing with Chris. Not just (that) I have played two seasons with him at KXIP, I have played with him at RCB as well.  I have known him for a good 6-7 years.  As a youngster, I did speak with him a lot and I was looking at him as an opening batsman.  How destructive, powerful, and how intimidating he is,” Rahul told TimesofIndia.

 “I try to learn a lot from him (Gayle). We share a good friendship and that’s what came out in the middle in the last two seasons.  He is somebody who is such an impact player, such a match-winner for whatever team he has played.  Like I said he is very intimidating and takes down the opposition on a given day.  He can destroy any bowling attack.”

Teenager Priyam Garg smashed a maiden Indian Premier League half-century as Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Chennai Super Kings by seven runs in Dubai on Friday.

The 19-year-old Garg top scored with an unbeaten 51 off 26 balls after the Sunrisers' top-order stars failed to fire.

Garg and 20-year-old Abhishek Sharma (31 from 24) put on 77 for the fifth wicket in seven overs to get David Warner's side up to 164-5, Deepak Chahar taking 2-31.

That proved to be enough for Sunrisers to secure back-to-back victories and move up to fourth, as bottom side CSK fell short on 157-5 - slumping to a third loss in a row for the first time since 2014.

Ravindra Jadeja (50 from 35) struck a first IPL half-century and MS Dhoni finished 47 not out, but the Super Kings remain on one victory in a poor start to the tournament.

They needed 28 off the last over to pull off an unlikely win and although Abdul Samad started with five wides and Sam Curran finished the match with a six, Chennai were unable to avoid another defeat.

Rashid Khan conceded just 12 runs from his four overs, but Sunrisers' win came at a cost as Bhuvneshwar Kumar suffered a thigh injury.

 

YOUNG GUNS STEP UP FOR SUNRISERS

Jonny Bairstow was cleaned up by an inswinger from Chahar without scoring in the first over and Sunrisers were 69-4 after 11 overs when Kane Williamson was run out.

With Warner (28) and Manish Pandey also back in the pavilion, it was left to Garg and Sharma to come to the rescue.

Garg hit a six and found the rope six times, while Sharma - who only turned 20 last month - also struck a maximum and another four boundaries as the young guns delivered for Sunrisers.

There was another memorable moment for man of the match Garg when his throw saw the back of the dangerous Faf du Plessis, run out for 22.

 

RASHID TURNS THE SCREW, CONCERN FOR KUMAR

Leg-spin sensation Rashid starred with 3-14 in a victory over Delhi Capitals last time out and he delivered again.

The Afghanistan tweaker did not add to his wicket tally for the tournament, but his 16 dot balls were the most in an innings in the 2020 edition of the tournament.

Only Sheldon Cottrell (47), Jasprit Bumrah (47) and Mohammad Shami (42) have bowled more deliveries without conceding a run in the opening four matches of the IPL than Rashid, who has racked up 41 dots.

The injury to Kumar in the penultimate over is a cause for concern for Warner's in-form side, though.

 

DHONI AND JADEJA MILESTONES NO CONSOLATION

Captain Dhoni and Jadeja reached milestones with the bat, but that would be no consolation for the experienced duo.

Dhoni moved to the 4,500-run mark in the IPL and Jadeja has 2,000 under his belt, yet their knocks were not enough to pick up much needed points.

Rohit Sharma passed 5,000 runs in the Indian Premier League as Mumbai Indians returned to winning ways in style, recording a 48-run victory over Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi. 

India batsman Rohit surpassed the milestone with the very first ball he faced, clipping a wide outswinger from Mohammed Shami through the cover region. 

It set the tone for a sublime innings, with the right-hander reaching 70 off 45 balls, striking eight boundaries and three sixes. 

 A late flurry from Kieron Pollard (47), set Kings XI a target of 192 – a total they never threatened to reach despite the efforts of Nicholas Pooran, who scored 44 on the eve of his 25th birthday. 

Mumbai – who lost their last match following a super over – saw Quinton de Kock depart for a duck from the fifth delivery of the game. 

Rohit swiftly set about taking the initiative, and struck two fours from the second over, before he successfully overturned a leg before wicket decision after the technology deemed Mohammed Shami's delivery was heading down the leg side. 

When Pollard was positive from the outset on his arrival at the crease, Rohit stepped up, hitting 21 off a James Neesham over, while four sixes in the 20th helped the Indians reach 191-4. 

Kings XI began speedily enough in response, yet the first of two Jasprit Bumrah wickets saw Mayank Agarwal removed for 25 in the fifth over. 

Pooran was soon at the crease and tallied three fours and two maximums, although captain and opener KL Rahul could not stick around to provide a steady partner, departing for 17. 

Glenn Maxwell helped Pooran take the chasing side past 100, but Kings XI's star man perished when James Pattinson found his outside edge, a huge wicket that left the West Indian’s team-mates with too much to do as three were out for single figures. 

ROHIT PUNISHES NEESHAM 

It was a torrid day with the ball for Neesham, who finished with figures of 0-52 from four overs. 

Neesham attempted successive yorkers in the costly 16th over, with Rohit dispatching both of them to the boundary, yet things got worse when the Mumbai skipper pulled the next delivery over square for six, with the fifth ball of the over also heading over the ropes. 

NO PARTY FOR POORAN 

It looked for a brief time as though Pooran might be about to have a birthday to remember as he threatened a fightback. 

He did the heavy lifting in partnerships of 21 with Rahul and then 41 with Maxwell, yet his departure in the 14th over sparked a collapse as those further down the order failed to pack the same punch. 

Early Indian Premier League leaders Rajasthan Royals suffered a 37-run defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai on Wednesday despite Tom Curran's late half-century.

The Royals had won their opening two matches of the competition but, just three days on from the highest successful run chase in IPL history against Kings XI Punjab, turned in a miserable display with the bat.

Rajasthan, set 175 to win, tallied 12 runs off their first over - led by Jos Buttler (21) - but the signs of their subsequent struggles were there as Steve Smith came unstuck at the hand of international team-mate Pat Cummins (1-13) in the second.

Another big dismissal followed in the fifth over as Sanju Samson dragged Shivam Mavi (2-20) to midwicket and Buttler's departure to the same man prompted a flurry with two more wickets supplied by Kamlesh Nagarkoti (2-13) in the eighth over.

Rahul Tewatia had improbably inspired the dramatic victory over Kings XI last time out and similar heroics were required as he arrived at the crease.

There was a solitary six, but Tewatia (14) was beaten by Varun Chakravarthy (2-25), who found the middle stump, as the odds increasingly stacked against the Royals.

Curran made a fine 54 off 36, yet his side fell well short of the Knight Riders' 174-6, a target which might have been even greater but for Jofra Archer's (2-18) return to form with the ball.

The Knight Riders' top score came from opener Shubman Gill (47), who hit five fours and a maximum before handing Archer a simple catch off his own bowling.

Andre Russell sought to pick up the mantle and accelerated Kolkata's scoring with 16 runs off the 13th over, but he too departed as he picked out Jaydev Unadkat at the boundary attempting his fourth six of the innings.

It was left to Eoin Morgan to boost the total as he ended unbeaten on 34, surviving a scare off more dangerous Archer bowling, although it ultimately would have mattered little.
 

OUTSTANDING ARCHER

The Royals' star bowler was a dismal 0-46 in their dramatic victory on Sunday, but he was in the mood this time. A rapid first over saw just one run and set the tone, before he crucially caught Gill off his own bowling at the start of his next stint.

Archer's pace slowed Russell briefly and then saw Dinesh Karthik edge behind. He might have added the scalp of Morgan, too, had Tom Curran not dropped his England captain over the boundary.

"It's a different wicket here," Archer explained at the end of the innings. "You can hit length a bit more confidently."

KKR KIDS DO DAMAGE

Cummins made a superb start against Smith, another of the world's best bowlers following opponent Archer's lead, but it was the Knight Riders' younger stars who really sparkled.

Mavi and Nagarkoti are 21 and 20 respectively but both have missed long stretches in recent years due to back injuries, with the younger man not making his IPL debut until this season.

They shone against more experienced players on Wednesday, though, with Mavi crucially getting Samson and Buttler as the Royals started to recover from Smith's wicket.

Sunrisers Hyderabad registered their first win of the 2020 Indian Premier League season, overcoming previously unbeaten Delhi Capitals by 15 runs on Tuesday.

After back-to-back defeats to start their campaign in the Twenty20 competition, it proved to be third time lucky for Sunrisers, who posted 162-4 after being put into bat.

Jonny Bairstow led the way with 53 from 48 deliveries, though it was Kane Williamson who made the most telling contribution. The New Zealand batsman was drafted into the XI and responded to the opportunity with a rapid 41.

His 26-ball knock included five boundaries as he capitalised on a solid opening stand worth 77 between Bairstow and David Warner, who made 45 in his 50th IPL game as captain.

Delhi saw several batsmen get starts without kicking on during their unsuccessful reply, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant struggling to break the shackles despite making 34 and 28 respectively.

Rashid Khan was at his miserly best for Hyderabad, claiming superb figures of 3-14, and while Shimron Hetmyer provided some much-needed impetus, hitting 21 from 12 thanks to a pair of sixes, Delhi finished up on 147-7.

 

KANE ABLE TO HELP

Respective strike rates of 136 and 110 for the usually fast-scoring Warner and Bairstow demonstrated how it was far from easy for batsmen to force the pace on a slow, low surface at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

However, Williamson showed it is not all about power in the shortest format. The right-hander was the only batsman to find any rhythm, cleverly hitting balls into gaps to add 52 with Bairstow for the third wicket.

RASHID SHUTS DOWN CAPITALS

The Afghanistan international's spell included 13 dot balls and he conceded just a solitary boundary, as well as claiming three crucial top-order wickets.

However, the leg-spinner may not have dismissed opener Dhawan had it not been for wicketkeeper Bairstow.

The England international was the only one to strongly appeal for a catch behind and while initially given not out on the field, the original decision had to be overturned following a review.

Virat Kohli struck the last ball of a Super Over for four to seal a thrilling Indian Premier League win for Royal Challengers Bangalore after Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard gave Mumbai Indians hope.

Royal Challengers posted an imposing 201-3 after being put in at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday courtesy of half-centuries from Devdutt Padikkal (54), Aaron Finch (52) and AB de Villiers (55).

The brilliant Washington Sundar (1-12) struck a huge blow by dismissing Rohit Sharma in the second over of the run chase and Mumbai looked beaten at 78-4 in the 12th over.

However, Kishan and Pollard astonishing forcedly a tie after putting on 119 for the fifth wicket off just 8.3 overs, the former making 99 off 58 balls – including nine sixes – before he was out off the penultimate delivery.

Pollard (60 not out from 23) brought the scores level with a four off the last ball – making it the highest tied score in an IPL contest – when the Indians were five down, but RCB were not to be denied victory.

Indians duo Pollard and Hardik Pandya could only take seven from Navdeep Saini's Super Over and Jasprit Bumrah was unable to keep it so tight, boundaries from the in-form De Villiers and Kohli giving RCB a second win out of three.

 

KOHLI FAILS AGAIN AS REST OF RCB TOP ORDER CASH IN

Despite hitting the winning runs, Kohli looked out of sorts again as he made just three from 11 balls before the tie-breaker, Rahul Chahar getting the India captain caught at short cover.

Padikkal and Finch had put on 81 for the first wicket in nine overs and De Villiers cashed in on a great track with some magnificent clean striking, hitting four sixes and as many fours.

Shivam Dube got in on the act with an unbeaten 27 off just 10 balls, clearing the ropes three times, as RCB reached 200 for the 17th time when batting first – six more times than any other team.

 

KISHAN AND POLLARD PRODUCE STUNNING BLITZ

It looked to be game over when Pandya fell to Adam Zampa in the 12th over of the run chase, leaving Mumbai four down and with a mountain to climb.

Sundar – who did not concede a boundary from his four overs – saw the back of Rohit before debutant Isuru Udana struck twice, with substitute fielder Pawan Negi taking three catches.

Kishan and Pollard had other ideas, with the West Indies all-rounder hitting the last ball of the 20th over for four after Kishan had struck Udana for back-to-back sixes before being caught in the deep on 99.

 

KOHLI HAS THE LAST LAUGH

It has been a poor start for Kohli, but he had the last laugh by whipping his India team-mate Bumrah for four when needing just one to win off the last ball.

De Villiers, on the other hand, is in great nick and also found the rope off the fourth ball from Bumrah after Saini halted Mumbai's momentum.

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