23:43 hrs IST: Breathless stuff! Royal Challengers Bangalore hold their nerve to win the game by one run. Chris Jordan somehow managed to defend 17 runs.
23:35 hrs IST: Watson comes back in style and concedes just two runs from three balls. KXIP need 17 runs to win off the last over. Jordan to bowl the last over.
23:33 hrs IST: Watson comes back with a short ball and Stoinis misses the upper-cut. This is becoming really close.
23:32 hrs IST: Watson misses the yorker and bowls a full toss outside off, Stoinis hacks it past backward point for a boundary.
23:30 hrs IST: Watson back for his final over. He has been outstanding and he begins the 19th over with a dot ball. Pressure on KXIP.
23:28 hrs IST: That is a massive moment. Jordan bowls a full toss on leg stump and Stoinis lap-scoops it to fine leg for a boundary. KXIP need 24 runs off 12 balls.
23:21 hrs IST: WICKET! Vijay c Chahal b Watson 89 (57) || Overs 17.
That is a body blow for Kings XI Punjab. Short ball from Watson and Vijay top-edges the pull shot, Chahal settles underneath the catch and takes it at deep backward square leg. That is a massive blow. Brilliant bowling from Watson.
23:15 hrs IST: Vijay picks up the sweep and he uses the reverse sweep as well. He is playing a gem of a knock. Time for the final strategic time-out. KXIP need 40 runs off the last four overs.
23:11 hrs IST: RCB are once again showing some vulnerability at the end. Chris Jordan misfields and concedes a boundary. KXIP need 53 runs off 30 balls. Vijay is playing a gem.
23:06 hrs IST: Murali Vijay is finding the boundaries at will here. He smashes two boundaries off Abdulla as KXIP reduce the gap further.
23:03 hrs IST: Jordan concedes 11 runs in the 13th over as Vijay spanks him for two boundaries. Until Vijay is at the crease, KXIP have some hope.
22:58 hrs IST: Vijay brings up his 11th fifty in the IPL. It has been a captain’s knock. Kings XI Punjab need him to carry on.
22:54 hrs IST: WICKET! David Miller st Rahul b Chahal 0 (1) || Overs 11.
Brilliant from Chahal and this time Rahul makes no mistake. Googly from Chahal and Miller comes down the track to hit against the spin, he misses it and Rahul whips the bails off in a flash. RCB are back in the game.
22:49 hrs IST: WICKET! Wriddhiman Saha st Rahul b Chahal 16 (13) || Overs 10.5.
Almost another mess-up by Rahul but he makes amends. Chahal lures Saha out with a flighted delivery, the batsman misses the slog and he is a long way out of the crease, the ball hits Rahul on the helmet grill and falls to the ground, he collects it and whips the bails off.
22:45 hrs IST: At the half-way stage, KXIP need 93 runs off 60 balls. Vijay is nearing a fifty but they will have to maintain the momentum.
22:42 hrs IST: Vijay is turning it on here. He makes room and dances down the track to Abdulla as he lofts the drive inside-out over extra cover for a boundary.
22:39 hrs IST: WHAM! Aaron bowls short and on leg stump, 142 kmph, Vijay uses the pace and helps it over fine leg for a vital six.
22:35 hrs IST: Vijay and Saha are making decent progress. RCB need another wicket desperately.
22:30 hrs IST: Varun Aaron is into the attack but he starts off poorly as Wriddhiman Saha dispatches him to the deep backward point boundary. RCB cannot afford to concede so many boundaries.
22:27 hrs IST: Time for the first time-out. KXIP’s innings is progressing in a similar way to RCB’s. After a good start, RCB lost their way in the middle overs. However, KXIP will look to ensure that they do not lose wickets at regular intervals.
22:24 hrs IST: WICKET! Hashim Amla c Binny b Watson 21 (20) || Overs 5.3.
Short ball from Watson and Amla stands tall to pull it over mid wicket, however, Stuart Binny leaps and takes the catch over his head with both hands. Vital wicket for RCB.
22:20 hrs IST: Tight call but Amla just makes it! Full and flat delivery on leg stump from Chahal, Amla misses the slog sweep and gets hit on the pad, it rolls to the off side and he sets off for a quick single, Chahal reaches it and scores a direct hit at the bowler’s end but Amla has made it.
22:17 hrs IST: Magnificent shot from Vijay. Binny bowls it full and wide of off stump, Vijay shuffles across and whips it wide of mid on for a boundary.
22:08 hrs IST: Chris Jordan comes into the attack after just one over from Binny. Steady start this for KXIP.
22:04 hrs IST: Yuzvendra Chahal, the legspinner, has been introduced into the attack. Not a good start though as he concedes a boundary to fine leg first ball.
22:03 hrs IST: Steady start for KXIP in the first over as they move to 5/0. For most of the over, Stuart Binny was maintaining a short of a length.
21:58 hrs IST: We are back for the KXIP chase. Stuart Binny will open the bowling. Hashim Amla and Murali Vijay will be opening the batting. Can Amla come good in his second game after failing in the game against Delhi Daredevils?
21:46 hrs IST: Sachin Baby is run-out but RCB have managed 175/6 in their 20 overs. This is a wonderful effort after KC Cariappa had taken two quick wickets. AB de Villiers blasted 64 off 35 balls and his knock could make the difference.
21:42 hrs IST: WICKET! Travis Head c Vijay b Sandeep Sharma 11 (7) || Overs 19.5.
Brilliant catch from the KXIP skipper. Head mistimes the lofted shot completely and it goes over mid-off, Murali Vijay runs back and keeps his eyes on the ball, he stretches forward and takes the catch.
21:38 hrs IST: Only eight runs in the 19th over. KXIP have pulled things back after the dismissal of AB de Villiers.
21:35 hrs IST: One harsh call from umpire Kumar Dharmasena. It was a yorker just outside leg stump and Sachin Baby misses the flick. Umpire signals a wide and that has not pleased Mohit Sharma.
21:30 hrs IST: WICKET! AB de Villiers c Cariappa b Sandeep Sharma 64 (35) || Overs 17.5.
The AB show is over. Yorker length ball from Sandeep, de Villiers angles the bat and looks to glide it past third man but holes out to Cariappa who is stationed at short third man. Ends a brilliant knock and KXIP heave a sigh of relief. This could be a difference of 15-20 runs.
21:25 hrs IST: Sandeep Sharma changes the angle. It does not matter! Sandeep misses the yorker and de Villiers deposits him over long leg for another six. This is massive damage.
21:24 hrs IST: Brilliant! Outstanding! A low full toss from Mohit and de Villiers scoop/flicks it to deep square leg to bring up his 19th fifty in IPL. Simply sublime is Mr.360.
21:21 hrs IST: Nothing can stop AB de Villiers. Slow balls and yorkers are all being dispatched.
21:17 hrs IST: De Villiers smashes 16 runs in the 16th over bowled by Sandeep Sharma. These end overs could be costly for KXIP. Mohit and Sandeep have to nail their yorkers perfectly.
21:14 hrs IST: Brilliant from AB! Sandeep bowls a low full toss on leg stump, de Villiers shuffles and crouches on one knee to scoop it over fine leg for a six. These are alarm bells for KXIP. Preity Zinta is worried, very worried.
21:09 hrs IST: Time for the second strategic time-out! The partnership between De Villiers and Sachin Baby is approaching fifty. RCB will be aiming for a total of over 160.
21:07 hrs IST: Sachin Baby ensures that AB de Villiers is not under pressure as he slams a boundary to deep mid wicket off Axar. 11 runs in the left-armer’s final over and he finishes with figures of 4-0-27-1.
21:03 hrs IST: Cariappa is ensuring that the RCB batsmen do not get any easy deliveries to hit. With a couple to deep mid wicket, RCB bring up the team 100 in the 14th over. Can they get past 160?
21:00 hrs IST: De Villiers breaks the shackles by smashing Stoinis to the deep extra cover fence for a boundary. RCB need more such hits to the fence.
20:55 hrs IST: Cariappa is back for his second over. Sachin Baby and de Villiers are not able to get the boundary.
20:53 hrs IST: Just six runs conceded by Axar in the 11th over. RCB have lost total momentum after the fall of Kohli. However, de Villiers can change the course of the match with one good over.
20:49 hrs IST: The onus is on AB de Villiers to revive RCB’s fortunes. This is new territory for them in this IPL.
20:43 hrs IST: WICKET! Shane Watson b Axar Patel 1 (3) || Overs 8.4.
Short delivery and it comes on slowly, Watson goes for the pull but is flummoxed by the slowness of the delivery, he misses it and the ball crashes into the stumps.
20:39 hrs IST: WICKET! Virat Kohli c Vijay b KC Cariappa 20 (21) || Overs 7.5.
That is a massive wicket. Flighted delivery and spinning away outside off, Kohli goes for the drive but finds Vijay at cover. The KXIP camp are delirious, Preity Zinta is just over the moon.
20:36 hrs IST: WICKET! Lokesh Rahul b KC Cariappa 42 (25) || Overs 7.3.
Quicker delivery on middle and leg stump, Rahul shuffles to the off side and looks to sweep, misses it and the ball hits the leg stump.
20:32 hrs IST: KXIP are pulling things back after the end of the powerplay. Here is the mystery spinner, KC Cariappa.
20:28 hrs IST: Axar concedes seven runs in his first over. After the end of the powerplay, RCB are 56/0 after six overs. The base has been set for a big score.
20:24 hrs IST: Anureet Singh pulls things back as he concedes five runs in his second over. However, RCB have raced away to 49/0 after five overs. KXIP need a wicket. Axar Patel into the attack.
20:18 hrs IST: Stoinis, who dropped Kohli, has been given the ball. However, KL Rahul goes after him with a vengeance. 4,4,6,4 in four deliveries and the Australian all-rounder concedes 20 runs in his first over. RCB 44/0 after four overs.
20:15 hrs IST: DROPPED! One cannot afford to drop a man who has an average of 106 in T20s this year. This could be fatal for KXIP. Kohli comes down the track and looks to crack a short of a length ball over point, he mistimes it but Marcus Stoinis at backward point spills the chance. GROAN!
20:14 hrs IST: In the air but safe! Mohit floats a full ball outside off, Kohli goes for the booming drive but one hand comes off the bat handle, the ball spoons over point and rolls away to the boundary.
20:10 hrs IST: Superb start for Anureet Singh, who is playing his first match in the 2016 IPL. He gives away just three runs. Mohit Sharma replaces Sandeep Sharma.
20:03 hrs IST: KL Rahul follows Kohli’s footsteps religiously and he gets off the mark with a boundary too. Both these batsmen, along with AB de Villiers, have been the key for RCB. Maybe, Rahul’s good form has meant that the team has not missed Chris Gayle’s services.
20:01 hrs IST: And we are away! Kohli, who can do no wrong, gets going in style as he laces a cover drive on the up past point to get off the mark with a boundary.
20:00 hrs IST: KL Rahul and Virat Kohli have come out to open. Sandeep Sharma will open the bowling for KXIP. A slip in place.
19:57 hrs IST: So, RCB seem to have lost the advantage by batting first. Looking at their bowling problems, they will be hoping that the batsmen get the team past 200.
19:48 hrs IST: Kings XI Punjab have released three players from their squad. Shardul Thakur, Armaan Jaffer and Pardeep Sahu are the players who have been asked to go. Only Sahu got to play five games in this edition.
19:41 hrs IST: Big call to leave Glenn Maxwell out for this game. Anureet Singh comes in to replace Gurkeerat Singh Mann.
19:40 hrs IST: Here are the playing XIs:
Kings XI Punjab (Playing XI): Murali Vijay(c), Marcus Stoinis, Hashim Amla, Wriddhiman Saha(w), David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Axar Patel, Anureet Singh, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, KC Cariappa
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Playing XI): Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul(w), AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Chris Jordan, Iqbal Abdulla, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Chahal
19:34 hrs IST: Kings XI Punjab have won the toss and have chosen to bowl first against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Parvez Rasool has been rested for RCB and Iqbal Abdulla comes in his place. Glenn Maxwell has been rested for KXIP and Farhaan Behardien comes in his place.
19:28 hrs IST: How does one stop Virat Kohli? How does one stop Kohli when he is involved in chasing a total? Currently, no one in the world seems to have an answer. He seems to be the best chase-master in cricket at the moment.
19:23 hrs IST: A warm welcome to the match between Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both teams are occupying the bottom rungs of the IPL and a win for either will give them a mathematical chance of qualifying for the knock-outs.
It is ironical that that a person who has scored a record two centuries in an IPL season is leading a team that is second-last in the IPL standings. This is the reality for Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Monday’s clash at Mohali will be one between RCB’s batting and KXIP’s bowling. On paper, RCB’s batting muscle is the strongest in IPL. But the lack of support from the bowlers has hurt.
KXIP clearly have the better bowlers. The two Sharmas – Mohit and Saneep – have used the new ball well and all-rounder Axar Patel has performed both with bat and ball.
Kings XI Punjab are slowly recovering from the battering they received in the early weeks of IPL 2016. Murali Vijay, who took over as captain from David Miller, has been leading from the front. He is KXIP’s leading scorer with 229 runs with a strike-rate of 118.
While Miller and Glenn Maxwell’s inconsistency remains a problem, Marcus Stoinis has been a good addition as a quality all-rounder. Hashim Amla needs to bring in his experience at No. 3.
KXIP vs RCB will be an intriguing contest. The toss will be crucial, more from RCB’s point of view. On Saturday, RCB chased down Pune’s 191 with seven wickets and three-balls to spare. Kohli will be backing his batsmen to do an encore.