Durban: Roelof van der Merwe scored 35 runs and took two wickets to steer the Bangalore Royal Challengers to an eight-run win over Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League match on Friday.
The South African all-rounder hit three sixes and three boundaries to help Bangalore to 145-9, dominating a 44-run partnership with Praveen Kumar (9 not out) after Bangalore was in trouble at 84-6.
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Van der Merwe then took 2-22 off three overs as Punjab was held to 137-7 at Kingsmead.
“Roelof batted well for us,” Bangalore captain Anil Kumble said. “Everyone rallied around him and it got us in a good position.”
Punjab needed 13 runs from the final over, but Kumar had Irfan Pathan caught on 12 by Virat Kohli off a full toss and bowled Piyush Chawla for 3 on the penultimate ball of the match.
Kumar finished with 2-27, while captain Anil Kumble claimed 2-25.
Yuvraj Singh scored 50 for Punjab to add to his earlier hat trick to win the man-of-the-match award.
Yuvraj hit three boundaries and four sixes in 34 balls, sharing an opening stand of 70 with Karan Goel (20 off 29 balls) before he was dismissed by Kumble attempting to sweep a full toss to be caught by Kallis at deep midwicket in the 10th over.
“We needed a few partnerships ... that did not happen,” Yuvraj said. “The wicket got slower. (But) you can’t blame the wicket, you need to play good cricket.”
Kumble, who led Bangalore ahead of Jacques Kallis after Kevin Pietersen’s departure for England, said: “Yuvraj wanted pace on the ball, so I took the pace away and it worked.”
Punjab bowler Yusuf Abdulla took 4-36, including a maiden, to become the leading wicket-taker in the IPL with 13 dismissals.