CHANDAN KHANNA/Getty Images
Royal Challengers Bangalore kept alive their hopes of clinching a place in the 2018 Indian Premier League play-offs on Monday after they swept a woeful Kings XI Punjab side by 10 wickets.
Kings XI may have been the home team at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, but one wouldn’t have guessed as much after they fell short and became the first team in the IPL this season to suffer a defeat by 10 wickets.
The hosts were bowled out for 88 and failed to take a single wicket, as Bangalore’s Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel lasted the entire innings as their only batsmen.
Despite the result, Kings XI remain fifth in the standings and two points above RCB, who have two matches remaining and need to win both to have a chance to finish in the regular season’s top four.
Read on for a roundup of Monday’s sole IPL fixture, complete with a breakdown of this season’s key stats, including updated leading run-scorers and wicket-takers.
Orange Cap Leaders (Runs)
1. Rishabh Pant, Delhi Daredevils (582)
2. Lokesh Rahul, Kings XI Punjab (558)
3. Kane Williamson, Sunrisers Hyderabad (554)
4. Ambati Rayadu, Chennai Super Kings (535)
5. Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore (514)
Purple Cap Leaders (Wickets)
1. Andrew Tye, Kings XI Punjab (20)
2. Hardik Pandya, Mumbai Indians (18)
3. Unesh Yadav, Royal Challengers Bangalore (17)
4. Trent Boult, Delhi Daredevils (15)
5. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Kings XI Punjab (14)
Best Economy Rate
1. Sandeep Sharma, Sunrisers Hyderabad (5.83)
2. Ish Sodhi, Rajasthan Royals (6.18)
3. Moeen Ali, Royal Challengers Bangalore (6.21)
4. Sandeep Lamichhane, Delhi Daredevils (6.25)
5. D’Arcy Short, Rajasthan Royals (6.33)
Best Batting Strike Rate
1. Andre Russell, Kolkata Knight Riders (191.53)
2. Rishabh Pant, Delhi Daredevils (179.62)
3. AB de Villiers, Royal Challengers Bangalore (178.10)
4. Sunil Narine, Kolkata Knight Riders (177.56)
5. Dwayne Bravo, Chennai Super Kings (170.51)
All statistics per the IPL official website.
Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings remain the only two teams who have thus far secured their place in the 2018 IPL play-offs, and Royal Challengers did their bit to ensure they’re still in with a shot.
A must-win trip to Indore came off without a hitch, although this was really more so about the dire performance of Kings XI, as cricket commentator Ayaz Memon described the state of affairs:
Disastrous evening for Punjab, shot in the arm for Bangalore. There’s more melodrama to come in determining remaining 2 places in play-offs!
Top Punjab batsmen Lokesh Rahul—second in the Orange Cap race—and Chris Gayle combined for a total of 39 runs off 29 balls, while Aaron Finch was the only other KXIP player to hit double digits with 26.
The hosts’ middle and lower order was in dire straits, however, and Bangalore bowler Umesh Yadav was the cause for much of that misery as he took three of their wickets in a case of deja vu, per Broken Cricket:
Broken Cricket @BrokenCricket
Umesh Yadav best bowling figures this IPL season:
3/23 vs KXIP
3/23 vs KXIP
Fifty balls were all it took for India captain Kohli (48) and fellow opener Patel (44) to seal the deal in a match that will be difficult to beat this season in terms of speed.
Victory on Monday meant Royal Challengers could still mount a late charge on the table and place as high as third if other results go their way. Captain Kohli was unsurprisingly chirpy after the win:
He hit six fours and two maximum scores as he and Patel ran rampant, although statistician Sampath Bandarupalli noted this wasn’t the first time Bangalore have managed such a feat:
Sampath Bandarupalli @SampathStats
This is the 3rd time Royal Challengers Bangalore have won an IPL game by 10 wickets margin. No other team won by 10 wickets more than once in the IPL. #IPL2018 #KXIPvRCB
While their table position prior to Monday’s contest might not have suggested Royal Challengers were capable of such a one-sided display, the wilted challenge of Kings XI opened the forum for them to close the gap.
Less than a week is left of the 2018 IPL regular season, and RCB can afford to continue dreaming of a play-off future, while Kings XI will hope this isn’t the beginning of a downward slide.