Jacques Kallis and Robin Uthappa hammered blistering half-centuries to pull off a stunning chase as Royal Challengers Bangalore thumped Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets in a high-scoring humdinger of the Indian Premier League here today.
Chasing Kings XI Punjab's intimidating 203 for three, the Bangalore side achieved the target with eight wickets and seven balls to spare on a day when over 400 runs were scored in 39 overs. Kallis was unbeaten after a stellar 57-ball 89 and his effort was good enough for the Man of the Match award. Uthappa's 21-ball blitzkrieg of 51 was studded with four fours and as many sixes, while Manish Pandey chipped in with a 25-ball 38.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab rode on the 129-run opening stand between Manvinder Bisla (75 off 51 balls) and Ravi Bopara (77 off 50 balls) to reach a commanding 203 for three which, however, proved inadequate in the end.
If Pandey and Kallis, who smashed nine fours and five sixes in his sizzling essay, had set the platform with a 74-run partnership at the start, it was Uthappa who provided the nuclear power in the mid-innings to fashion RCB's magnificent chase. The stocky former Indian batsman struck four sixes and four boundaries in his 21-ball essay, taking 25 off S Sreesanth's third over. Though Uthappa perished in the 14th over at 143, Kallis and Virat Kohli (16 not out) ensured RCB reached the target without any hiccups.
Earlier, little-known Manvinder Singh Bisla had captured the imagination of the buffs with a ruthless exhibition of attacking stroke-play. The ball was meant to be smashed and he did that with glee. He cared little for reputation as he treated Dale Steyn and Anil Kumble with casual disdain, carting them into the stands with effortless ease.
The Punjab opener struck six boundaries and five sixes before he smashed Kallis into the hands off Eoin Morgan at mid-wicket. But by then he had put Kings XI Punjab firmly in the saddle, a position from where Mahela Jayawardene (13-ball 26) plundered the whithering RCB attack at will.
Ravi Bopara, who wisely played the anchor's role to a nicety when Bisla was going hammer and tongs, broke loose as the overs whittled down to notch his second successive half century of the championship.
The English-import took barely 42 balls for his 77 which was embellished with nine boundaries and two sixes. RCB meet Rajasthan Royals in next match on Thursday. PTI