Durban: Vinay Kumar hit the winning runs with two balls to spare as the Bangalore Royal Challengers stuttered to a two-wicket victory over the Chennai Super Kings on Thursday in the Indian Premier League.
Set a relatively small target to win after bowling out Chennai for 129, Ross Taylor hit 46, sharing a 56-run fourth wicket stand with Virat Kohli (38 off 35 balls) to apparently set Bangalore on course for victory after a slow start.
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Taylor fell with 5 runs needed off the last five balls and two wickets in hand.
Kumar then guided his team home in a nervous finish, benefiting from a misfield that allowed a boundary.
“It was a great effort,” said Bangalore captain Anil Kumble, who earlier was the pick of the Bangalore attack with 2-12 in four overs.
“The bowlers were brilliant and the fielding was brilliant. 129 was gettable but we struggled a bit at the end. But I thought overall our plans were successful. (Jacques) Kallis was brilliant upfront...everyone contributed.”
Kallis took 2-18 in four overs, including a maiden. Kumar claimed 2-30 in his three overs. The IPL’s leading run-scorer Matthew Hayden top-scored for Chennai with 60.
In reply Bangalore lost three wickets in the first five overs to slump to 30-3.
Kallis was given lbw to Albie Morkel ball for a duck, then Sudeep Tyagi had Rahul Dravid well caught by Subramaniam Badrinath for 8.
Robin Uthappa was then adjudged lbw to a Morkel ball that looked to be going down leg side.
Taylor and Kohli’s partnership ended when Kohli was out to a diving catch by Jacob Oram off a Lakshmipathy delivery bowled short of a length.
Roloef van der Merwe added 3 runs before Muttiah Muralitharan ran him out.
Three runs later Balachandra Akhil (0) failed to get a good connection and was caught at third man by Tyagi. Taylor’s dismissal followed in the final over, flicking behind in search of a boundary only to be caught by wicketkeeper Dhoni. But at the end Kumar kept his cool to give Bangalore a welcome victory.
“We did well to make a good game of it,” said Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “You want to win a game like that. Unfortunately we couldn’t.”