Cape Town - The Kings XI Punjab, languishing at the bottom of the table, severely knocked back the Royal Challengers Bangalore's hopes of a play-off place with a 22-run win in Mohali on Wednesday.
The supersport.com website reports that in a rain-affected match which reduced each innings to 10 overs, the Kings ran up a score of 106 for six and then strangled the much-vaunted Challengers' top order.
After 6.4 overs, the top three of Virat Kholi (19), Chris Gayle (17) and AB de Villiers (10) had gone for 67 runs. From there it was downhill all the way as the Challengers tried to make up lost ground and the Kings reaped the benefits.
One of the heroes was Beuran Hendricks, who conceded just nine runs off his two overs, while taking the wicket of Dinesh Karthik (2).
The left-arm spin of Axar Patel harvested two for 11. The dot balls were worth more than the wickets.
Given the restrictions,and sent in to bat, there was nothing for it but for the Kings to go hard and fast. Wriddhiman Saha took the lead, smashing 31 off the first two overs.
He was dropped on 26 as he drove a ball back to bowler Sreenath Aravind, a blow so hard that it ricocheted to the boundary.
But it did not prove too costly as he top-edged a swipe at David Wiese's first ball to mid-on. His impressive cameo included five fours and a six off 12 balls
The medium pace of Harshal Patel slowed the impetus with two wickets in three balls: First Manan Vohra (11), then Glenn Maxwell (10) trudged back with the score on 54 for three.
But that brought David Miller to the crease, still humming from his brilliant 89 from 44 balls against the Sunrisers last time out.
He started with a single, then slapped two sixes off the leg-break googly twisters of Yuzvendra Chahal. Two balls later, he too, was gone, stumped, literally and figuratively by a flat, wide delivery. Still, in the context of this game,14 runs off four balls was pure gold.
Patel went on to bowl a tight over which yielded only five runs to end on two for 12, while Chahal picked up the wicket of George Bailey (13) to close on two for 25. Wiese had one for 17 off his two overs.
Kings XI Punjab: R Dhawan, M Vohra, WP Saha (wicketkeepr), GJ Maxwell, DA Miller, GJ Bailey (captain), Gurkeerat Singh, AR Patel, BE Hendricks, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma
Royal Challengers Bangalore: CH Gayle, V Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, KD Karthik (wicketkeeper), SN Khan, Mandeep Singh, D Wiese, MA Starc, HV Patel, YS Chahal, S Aravind