Miller’s maiden moment

David Miller (no. 10) is mobbed by team-mates
David Miller (no. 10) is mobbed by team-mates

MOHALI – Kings XI Punjab came back to winning ways with a stunning six-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali today. After Bangalore posted a massive 190, Kings XI, led by David Miller’s brutal 38-ball unbeaten 101, chased it down in just 18 overs.

Chasing a mammoth 191, Kings XI lost Shaun Marsh (6) caught by AB de Villiers off Ravi Rampaul. Mandeep Singh (16) was then caught behind off Vinay Kumar in the fifth over to give RCB their second wicket. Gurkeerat Singh hit Moises Henriques for two boundaries as Kings XI made 41 from the Power Play.

Murali Kartik, introduced into the attack in the eighth over, struck immediately trapping Gurkeerat (20) leg before wicket. He struck a second time when David Hussey (13) holed out to Henriques at long-on. At the halfway stage, Kings XI were 68 for four, still needing 123 runs.

Miller smashed Kartik for a six in the 12th over. Rajagopal Sathish was put down by Chris Gayle on seven off Vinay Kumar. Miller went after Vinay Kumar hitting him for a six and two boundaries before Virat Kohli put him down on 41. Miller continued his assault taking apart an RP Singh’s over – the 15th of the innings – for 26 runs with two sixes and three boundaries.

Needing 53 from 30 balls, Miller dispatched Rampaul for a six and a boundary in the 16th over. He dished out the same treatment to Vinay Kumar in the 17th over. Sathish (27 not out) hit Gayle for a six and two boundaries before Miller finished the proceedings with a six to bring up his century and see Kings XI home. Miller’s 38-ball century – his first three-figure score in Twenty20 cricket – is the third-fastest century in the IPL.

Earlier Kings XI won the toss and put in Bangalore. Their openers Gayle and Cheteshwar Pujara started cautiously before Gayle hit consecutive sixes off IPL debutant, Michael Neser taking 18 runs from it. Pujara then joined in with three successive boundaries off Manpreet Gony as RCB made 58 from their Power Play. Gayle brought up his 15th IPL fifty clipping Neser off his pad for two.

Gayle (61) smashed Gony for a straight six before the bowler came back strongly to castle him. Pujara hit Parvinder Awana for consecutive boundaries in the 14th over. Gony gave Kings XI their second breakthrough when he bowled Pujara (51). Awana had Kohli (14) caught by Shaun Marsh as they put the brakes on Bangalore’s scoring. de Villiers (38 not out) hit Neser for a six and a boundary in the 18th over. Henriques (16 not out) then launched Praveen Kumar over the mid-wicket fence before smashing a boundary. Bangalore plundered 21 runs off Neser’s final over to finish at 190 for 3.

It looked a winning target. But then came Miller.†

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