Durban: Ravi Bopara (84) led Kings XI Punjab’s to their first victory in the second edition of the Indian Premier League as they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by a handsome seven-wicket margin on Friday.
The England batsman batted with patience initially and and turned explosive after reaching his half-century.
Bopara shared two crucial partnerships -- 52 for first wicket with Karan Goel and 66 for third wicket with Yuvraj Singh -- to give Punjab a lease of life in the tournament.
Chasing 169 to win, Punjab overhauled the target with one over to spare with Yuvraj finishing it off with a six off Jacques Kallis.
Before coming to this clash, Punjab had lost both of their matches as bad weather dented their chances on both the occasions.
Earlier, Jacques Kallis rescued the Bangalore side with a splendid 62 to help them overcome a mini top-order collapse and post a competitive 168 for nine after sent in to bat.
Yusuf Abudulla was star performer for the Punjab side with his four-wicket haul while Irfan Pathan (3/35) took three wickets.
In the Bangalore innings, Kallis held one end together when wickets were tumbling from the other after Kevin Pietersen opted to bat.
Kallis revived Bangalore innings with his second IPL fifty, studded with five fours and two sixes, and found an able ally in Ross Taylor, who contributed valuable 35 runs.
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The duo put up 61 for the fifth wicket after seamer Yusuf Abdulla’s double strike in the sixth over had pegged them back.
Though wickets fell at regular intervals in Bangalore innings, runs never dried up as Kallis kept the scoreboard ticking with his brilliant innings.
Jesse Ryder with his 32-run cameo at the start was the other contributor for his side.
Pathan drew the first blood for Punjab as Robin Uthappa (0) chased a wide delivery and ended up edging that one to Yuvraj Singh at first slip.
Kallis, though was least perturbed with the blow and got off to mark with a six over the mid-wicket off Pathan.
Ryder, who had a disastrous start to the IPL after getting two ducks in as many mathces, finally got some runs flowing from his willow as he unleashed a flurry of boundaries in Ranadeb Bose’s second over.
The Kiwi southpaw extracted 18 run off that over in which he hit him for four boundaries.