Pietersen Powers Royal Challengers To a Victory Over Kings XI

Mohali, Apr 3 (IANS): Blistering unbeaten half-century from Kevin Pietersen helped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat Kings XI Punjab by six wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at floodlit Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here Friday.

Man of the Match Pietersen remained unbeaten on 66 and Virat Kohli made a breezy 42 as Royal Challengers Bangalore made 184 for four in 19.1 overs, in reply to Kings XI Punjab's 181 for five in 20 overs.

Kings XI Punjab's woeful run in the IPL continued as they suffered seventh loss from eight matches, while Royal Challengers registered their fifth win from eight matches and moved to the second spot in the points table.

Opting to bat first, Kings XI posted a competitive total on board after skipper Kumar Sangakkara made 45 and Ravi Bopara struck 42 not out. But it was poor bowling and pathetic fielding that let them down once again in the league.

Royal Challenger were off to a unconvincing start as they lost both the openers Jacques Kallis (9) and Manish Pandey (29) for 54 runs in the seventh over.

But Pietersen and Kohli added 76 runs for the third wickets to take Royal Challengers to the threshold of a win. Pietersen hit seven fours and a six, in his 44-balls innings while Kohli spanked four fours and a six during his 26-ball stay.

Robin Uthappa then played cameo of 22 off just eight balls and with Pietersen added 40 runs off just 15 balls for the fourth wicket to end Kings XI's chances.

Brett Lee was the most expensive as he gave away 48 runs in four overs while Shalabh Srivastava, Bipul Sharma and Irfan Pathan grabbed one wicket each.

Earlier in the day, Kings XI Punjab recovered from a poor start to get to a challenging total. After the early dismissal of opener Shaun Marsh (3), Sangakara and Manvinder Bisla (28) consolidated the innings with their 63-run stand that came off in 38 deliveries.

Local boy Yuvraj Singh, who has reportedly fallen out with the team management, found back his touch and entertained the crowd with his 36 off 20 deliveries that was studded with three fours and two sixes.



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Title: Pietersen Powers Royal Challengers To a Victory Over Kings XI

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