That's a wrap to tonight's coverage. It escalated pretty quickly, didn't it? Nobody expected it to finish so early, not us here in the comm box at least. Not that we are complaining. Anyways, the table is wide open now and it's congested out there now. Each game will have its own importance from now on. Tomorrow will be probably the most important of them all as the Kolkata host the Rajasthan at the Eden Gardens. Hopefully, that will be a humdinger unlike tonight. On that note, this is Hariprasad Sadanandan signing off on behalf of a pumped up Akshay Maanay, Kumar Abhisekh Das, Raju Peethala, Nikhil Jadhav and our scorer Sultan. Goodnight!
Umesh Yadav, Man of the Match: (On his spell and form this season) I am bowling whatever I was thinking and it has been going well till now. Hoping to carry this form forward. (On relying on his pace) I was backing myself to bowl whatever I have, pace with good line and length to cramp the batsman. I feel that if I don't do that, I'm lacking in confidence. (On his partnership with Southee) We just keep discussing how to use the new ball well because if we can take early wickets, it will ease the pressure off the other bowlers. We also chat a lot about the death overs.
(2/2) As I said, it was a perfect day right from the toss. We fancy chasing down big totals and we like to intimidate the opposition like that. One big partnership usually does the trick in T20s and the way me and AB bat, the opposition know what can happen. We want to take responsibility as batsmen, the toss may not go well every time. One is at home and we have the right momentum. (On the road ahead) We are in the nothing-to-lose zone and it will work well for us. Other teams will be wary of a team with such mindset. We aren't going to get too ahead of ourselves. The last game will be interesting if we can get the next one. We still got three days till the next game, we just want to enjoy the break till then.
Virat Kohli: (1/2) (On BLR staying alive) The last one week has been really crazy for us. At one stage, we thought we were down and out. But the way other games went, the points table opened up suddenly. Now we just got to win our two games left, run rate is quite good. Couldn't have asked for a more clinical performance. No negatives to point out today. Perfect game for us. (On BLR's new ball spell) Punjab thought that we would be intimidated by their openers on this small field but the way our bowlers started and took the batsmen out, they knew that they couldn't make any mistakes. Umesh was brilliant, taking those two big wickets in the same over. We kept picking wickets throughout and that was crucial. (On the toss factor) Very important because that's been the trend at this ground and we knew that they will try extra with their mystery spinner not playing. We knew we could bank on that factor. They were trying to get 30 extra due to that. The big shot kept coming and we kept taking wickets.
Ravichandran Ashwin: Really disappointing. Wasn't a professional effort from us. That has been the story for us. It's been the bowlers who have done it right and got the points for us. The batsmen have struggled more often than not. Anyways we need to chin up and move forward. Need to try and make sure to lift ourselves. It was very simple. We have never got to 20 overs with 3 down or 4 down so far in the tournament. That's what we wanted to achieve but the wheels came off. We lost by a big margin and our net run rate has come down. Need to check on that. We need to go to Mumbai and try to put them to bed, then we go to Pune to play Chennai. Most of these guys have played for a long time now, need their experience to count. We have a reasonable bowling attack that has fired for us. Time for the experienced internationals who didn't show up with the bat to do it too.
Parthiv: We had to. Our bowlers did a brilliant job to restrict them to under 100. We knew there was a chance to get the NRAJ up and went with a positive intent. That was in the mind (to finish it quickly), but we wanted start well and took a couple of overs. I thought we bowled brilliantly on this wicket. There was some swing early on and they bowled in the right areas. It is a small ground and great wicket to bat on. We are in a situation where we have nothing to lose, just go out there and enjoy each game.
Ten wicket wins for BLR in T20 League:99/0 vs RAJ, Bengaluru, 201093/0 vs DEL, Delhi, 201592/0 vs PUN, Indore, 2018Winning with most balls to spare:87 MUM v KOL, Mumbai WS, 200876 KOC v RAJ, Indore, 201173 PUN v DEL, Mohali, 201771 BLR v PUN, Indore, 2018- The first time BLR have managed to win back to back games since winning five in a trot leading to the 2016 final.
22:27 Local Time: A total mismatch in the end. It was touted to be a thrilling game, a run fest, but in the end, a damp squib. BLR have given PUN a severe thrashing in this low-scoring affair. The game virtually ended at the halfway mark when PUN got shot out for 88. Once that happened, it was only a matter of how quickly BLR could finish this, with an eye on the net run rate. Kohli sensed that, promoted himself to open the innings and along with Parthiv, ensured that they made quick work of the paltry target. A massive jump in the net run rate for BLR but they still need to win both their remaining games. Nevertheless, this will ease their tensions regarding the NRAJ. On the other hand, Punjab have been caught in quicksand here. A loss was bound to shake them but the magnitude of it has definitely sent shockwaves across the team. The points table is wide open now.
Ankit Rajpoot [1.0-0-16-0] is back into the attack
Scoring 500+ runs in a season most times:5 V Kohli *4 D Warner3 S Raina/ C Gayle/ G Gambhir
With the game all but done, they have taken a time-out! Not sure what they are going to discuss over here. Dinner plans maybe?
This is BLR's best Powerplay of the season
Marcus Stoinis, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Mohit Sharma, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
PUN review for LBW against Kohli. Looked quite close to the naked eye. Let's have a look. Seems umpire's call to me, no bat involved that's for sure. Over to HawkEye. Oh, it's missing!
Ankit Rajpoot, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Andrew Tye, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Lowest totals for PUN in T20 League:73 vs PUNE, Pune, 201788 vs BLR, Indore, 2018 *88 vs BLR, Bengaluru, 201592 vs CHN, Durban, 2009
Kohli and Parthiv Patel are at the crease. Kohli is on strike. Ashwin will open the attack