Shane Watson’s death bowling proved crucial as Royal Challengers Bangalore squeezed past fellow Indian Premier League strugglers Kings XI Punjab by one run despite the impressive efforts of Murali Vijay and Marcus Stoinis.
Kings XI skipper Vijay struck 89 from 57 balls to underpin his side’s attempted pursuit of 176, only to fall to Watson (2-22) in the 17th over as the Australian all-rounder gave up just three runs.
Man-of-the-match Watson again impressed in the penultimate set of six, which cost seven and left the Kings XI requiring 17 from the final over.
There looked set to be a twist in the tale when Stoinis thumped Chris Jordan (0-52) for successive boundaries – the latter a six over long-on – to leave six needed from three balls.
Yet Jordan held his nerve thereafter as the Kings XI fell agonisingly short on 174-4, Stoinis hitting each of the last two deliveries for two to finish unbeaten on 34 from 22.
Bangalore’s score of 175-6 owed much to an eye-catching innings from AB de Villiers, who accelerated rapidly in the closing overs.
De Villiers took 21 balls to score his first 25 runs, but then moved into overdrive before falling for 64 from 35, with five fours and two sixes.
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Lokesh Rahul (42 from 25) also made an important contribution at the top of the order for Bangalore, dominating an opening stand of 63 as Virat Kohli (20 from 21) had a rare quiet day, while Sachin Baby (33) shared 88 with De Villiers for the fourth wicket.
The Royal Challengers climb to sixth in the table as a result of their fourth win, while the Kings XI remain bottom.