Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Mohammad Siraj possibly had the best game of his life against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Wednesday with the dream figures of 3/8, including two maidens.
His effort helped the Virat Kohli-led team in restricting KKR to an embarrassing total of 84/8, the lowest ever in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after batting 20 overs. RCB reached the total with eight wickets and more than six overs to spare.
The win took the RCB to the second spot on the points table, and showed that they have emerged as a serious title contender. Although they are equal on points with Delhi Capitals (+0.774), they are second only on the net run rate (+0.182). Both teams have played 10 matches each.
Meanwhile, the contest between RCB and KKR, one of the most sought-after rivalries in IPL, was a completely one-sided affair on Wednesday, thanks to the Bangalore bowlers.
They bowlers wreaked havoc as they restricted KKR to a paltry total, courtesy Siraj (4-2-8-3) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/15) who stunned the opposition with some top-quality swing and spin bowing at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, the two-time IPL champions KKR added an unwanted record to their name after managing a meagre 84/8 wickets in their allotted 20 overs. KKR registered the all-time lowest score for a side who played complete 20 overs.
Siraj also joined history books as he became the only player to bowl two maidens in an IPL game. He dismissed Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana off successive balls, but missed the hat-trick.
Siraj and Navdeep Saini (1/23) ripped apart the KKR batting with the Eoin Morgan-led side losing half of their men for just 32 runs on board.
Morgan tried his best to steady the sinking ship with a 30-run knock but lacked support from others.
Later, a 27-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Lockie Ferguson (19 not out) and Kuldeep Yadav (12) somehow saw KKR reaching 84/8.
In return, RCB were off to a decent start but lost openers Devdutt Padikkal (25) and Aaron Finch (16) in quick succession with their scorecard reading 46/2 in 6.4 overs.
While KKR pacer Lockie Ferguson picked Finch, Padikkal fell short of the crease while trying to steal a single.
Kohli (18 not out) and Gurkeerat Singh (21 not out) performed the last rites with an unbeaten 38-run stand, driving RCB home with 39 balls to spare.
Brief scores: RCB 85/2 wkts in 13.3 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 25, Gurkeerat Singh 21; Lockie Ferguson 1/17) beat KKR 84/8 wkts in 20 overs (Eoin Morgan 30, Lockie Ferguson 19; Mohammed Siraj 3/8) by 8 wickets
Witu IANS inputs