Brar and Rahul star in Punjab’s big victory over Bangalore - GulfToday

Brar and Rahul star in Punjab’s big victory over Bangalore

Punjab Kings

Harpreet Brar of Punjab Kings celebrates after taking the wicket of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s captain Virat Kohli during their IPL match in Ahmedabad on Friday. Courtesy: IPL website

Left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar had a dream first match in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) as he picked up the wickets of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers to help Punjab Kings (PBKS) romp to a 34-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday night.

After putting up a challenging total of 179/5, PBKS managed to restrict RCB to 145/8 in their 20 overs.

Brar, who had played only three IPL matches before Friday, scalped 3/19 in his four overs to run through the power-packed RCB middle-order.

Before that, Australian pacer Riley Meredith had dealt the first blow to RCB by sending opener Devdutt Padikkal’s off-stump flying.

Kohli (35) and Rajat Patidar (31) then took their time and added 43 for the second wicket to set the platform for Maxwell and de Villiers. However, Brar spoiled all the plans.

He first removed Kohli, who looked to charge down the wicket but missed the line as the ball kept low. Then the tweaker from Moga spun one to beat Maxwell and hit the top of his off-stump. In the next over, he had de Villiers caught at cover.

RCB were suddeenly reduced to 69/4, needing 111 runs off 47 balls, which proved too much for the lower order batsmen.

Earlier, skipper KL Rahul’s unbeaten 91 (57 balls, 7x4, 5x6) powered PBKS to 179/5.

At one stage, PBKS looked like struggling to put up a competitive total, but Rahul’s onslaught helped the team amass 40 runs in the last two overs of Harshal Patel which saw them post a challenging target.

The Punjab franchise had lost opener Prabhsimran Singh (7) early before Chris Gayle (46 off 24 balls) and Rahul took charge. Gayle’s knock comprised six fours and two sixes and took the team’s score to 99 in the 11th over. After Gayle’s dismissal, PBKS lost three quick wickets which set them back and threatened to restrict the team to under 150.

However, Rahul and Brar (25 not out off 17 deliveries) then put up an unbeaten stand of 61 runs for the sixth wicket that took PBKS to their eventual score. Brar hit two sixes off Patel.

PBKS’ Brar said Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli’s early onslaught in Friday’s IPL match did not demoralise him as he knew he would get a second chance.

Kohli had hit Brar for a six and a four in the first two overs as the youngster playing his first IPL match of the season conceded 17 runs in two overs.

But then he came back in his third over, taking two wickets off the first two balls. He bowled Kohli on the first ball and then got rid of Maxwell on the next ball.

“I wasn’t overwhelmed when Kohli hit me because a bowler always gets a second chance to come back. My first IPL wicket was Kohli paaji’s wicket and that was very special. It came out in a flow after that, your body opens up, you get confident and things fall in place,” said the 25-year-old from Moga.

“They’ll be happy at home (Moga) I am sure. It’s their best wishes that have got me here. I didn’t feel anything about being hit for six because a bowler always has a chance to come back. So I knew I could come back.”

Brar had also hit an unbeaten 25 off 17 deliveries earlier to take PBKS to 179/5 in 20 overs.

“When I went into bat there was time to wait and see for an over or two. [K.L.] Rahul bhai was there at the other end to talk to me about the conditions and such,” said Brar.


Brief scores: Punjab Kings 179/5 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 91 not out, C Gayle 46, K Jamieson 2/32, D Sams 1/24) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 145/8 in 20 overs (V Kohli 35, H Patel 31, R Patidar 31, H Brar 3/19, R Bishnoi 2/17)

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