A spectatcular 89 by Jacques Kallis and a whirlwind 51 by Robin Uthappa helped Royal Challengers Bangalore score a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab in their Indian Premier League match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.
Chasing a seemingly improbable 204 to win, the team from Bangalore attained the target for the loss of just two wickets and with seven balls to spare.
In a match featuring teams that had both lost their opening matches, Royal Challengers registered their first win and consigned Kings XI to their second straight defeat.
Kallis's 55-ball knock was his second half-century on the trot -- after his 65 not out against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday -- and his sixth overall in the tournament.
The South African veteran helped himself to eight boundaries and two maximums and took over the Orange Cap -- given to the tournament's top scorer -- from Ravi Bopara, who had gained possession of it earlier in the day.
Uthappa's 19-ball fifty was the second fastest in the IPL -- behind Adam Gilchrist's effort; he was involved in a crucial second-wicket partnership with Kallis, one that changed the course of the match.
Kallis also put on 61 runs (off just 29 balls) in an unbroken third wicket stand with Virat Kohli (16 not out) that took the Bangalore team through to the eventual result -- a happy ending after a not-so-happy beginning.
Royal Challengers had a cautious start with just 10 runs coming off the first two overs. However, in the third over (bowled by Irfan) their batsmen broke loose, Kallis lifting the first ball towards the long-off boundary.
Two balls later, Manish Pandey smashed the ball straight past the bowler for his first boundary, the umpire doing well to get out of the way.
And as Yusuf Abdullah was introduced into the attack in the fifth over, Kallis welcomed him by steering his third delivery to the third man boundary and then smashing the fifth ball over the midwicket fence for a maximum -- the first of the Bangalore innings.
The second and third maximums came in the next over, on this occasion from Pandey's blade.
Bangalore scored 61 runs off their first six overs, 11 more than what Punjab had at that stage.
And when Pandey slammed Yuvraj over long-on for his third six, it marked the best opening wicket partnership (74) for the team from Bangalore in the IPL.
However, Pandey was accounted for by Piyush Chwala in the next over, caught by Irfan at backward point.
The Karnataka youngster's 26-ball 38 was inclusive of two boundaries and three maximums.
Kallis smashed Yuvraj over the midwicket for his second maximum to ease the pressure and then Uthappa got into the act, scoring successive boundaries off Chawla.
In Abdullah's next over Uthappa hit a six that measured 98 metres, the longest in the match.
The next ball went straight past the bowler and made its way to the fence.
And the 13th over bowled by Sreesanth cost Punjab a whopping 25 runs, all from Uthappa's blade.
It was the most expensive over of the game where a belligerent Uthappa helped himself to three maximums and another boundary in the bargain.
The 50-run partnership between Kallis and Uthappa came off just 26 balls.
And Uthappa's blitzkrieg made the Banglore side look favourites for the first time in the match.
In the next over Uthappa reached his fifty, his second in the IPL, that came off just 19 balls -- the second fastest fifty in the tournament.
But the batsman departed just two balls later, hitting straight to Mohammad Kaif to give Bipul Sharma his first wicket.
The second wicket partnership yielded Bangalore 69 runs in just 35 balls.
Uthappa's 21-ball 51 was inclusive of four hits to the fence and four over it.
Virat Kohli was dropped by Kaif at long-off a couple of overs later.
Kallis reached his sixth IPL fifty soon after.
The South African celebrated the occasion hitting three mammoth sixes and a boundary off a hapless Sharma. That over, the 18th, cost Punjab 23 runs and brought the asking rate to below than a run-a-ball.
Kallis then finished things off in the penultimate over.
Earlier, a superlative 129-run opening wicket stand by Manvinder Bisla and Ravi Bopara helped Kings XI Punjab to a formidable total
The team from Punjab put up a mammoth 203 for three in their stipulated 20 overs, with Bisla (75) scoring a maiden IPL fifty and Bopara (77) scoring a second successive fifty -- after his 56 against Delhi Daredevils on Saturday.
Bopara's knock also ensured him the Orange Cap -- given to the top scorer -- at this stage.
Mahela Jayawardene remained unbeaten on 26; giving him company was Irfan Pathan on three.
The Sangakkara-led side scored 87 off their first 10 overs and a whopping 116 off their final 10.
The Punjab innings had a sedate start as their batsmen tried to wriggle free from the outset, initially finding it difficult to break the Bangalore stranglehold.
In the fourth over (Kallis's first), Bisla gave himself some space by moving outside the leg stump and punching a short of length delivery over point boundary. It was a convincing shot and gave the youngster the required confidence to break free.
The first ball of the South African's second over was slashed over the third man boundary for another maximum, the third ball pulled to the square-leg boundary and the fifth pulled again, this time wide of midwicket.
Punjab reached the 50-run mark as the field restrictions came to an end. And it was time for Bangalore skipper Anil Kumble to introduce himself into the attack.
However, it didn't help the Bangalore cause much. Bisla smashed the first ball of Kumble's second over over long-off for his third maximum and took a single in the next to complete his maiden IPL fifty -- off just 36 balls.
And he celebrated the occasion by driving Vinay Kumar over long-off for his fourth maximum.
Bopara, who had thus far been a mere spectator at the other end, also broke free smashing Kumble over long-on for a six, pulling Vinay Kumar to the backward square leg for a boundary and pulling Kumble again to the wide long-on boundary.
As both the batsmen grew in confidence, Bangalore's woes compounded and a huge total looked imminent.
However, Kallis gave the Bangalore team some relief by having Bisla caught by Eoin Morgan at deep midwicket.
Punjab had lost their first wicket in the 15th over and only after 129 runs had been put for the first wicket.
Bisla's 51-ball 75 was inclusive of seven hits to the fence and four over it. His dismissal marked the arrival of Yuvraj Singh.
Yuvraj (9) though didn't survive long, Steyn having him caught by Morgan at deep square-leg.
In came Mahela Jayawardene and he got into the act immediately, scoring a maximum (over long-off) and a boundary in successive balls from Kumble.
Meanwhile, Bopara hit three successive boundaries of Praveen Kumar (in the 18th over), the first of them helping him reach his third IPL fifty, his second in succession.
The England batsman continued his aggressive intent till he was finally dismissed in the final over - caught at square-leg at Kumble of Praveen Kumar.
Bopara's 50-ball 77 was inclusive of nine hits to the fence and two over it. His fourth-wicket partnership with Jayawardene yielded Punjab 53 runs off just 22 balls.
Earlier, Kings XI won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket that seemed conducive for the same.
"We have seven batsmen, all top quality, and we just need to take responsibility," reasoned captain Sangakkara.
The Mohali team had one change, bringing in Bipul Sharma for Ramesh Powar.
"It's a good toss to lose," said Kumble, adding, "We will look to restrict them to 140-150."
But the Punjab batsmen ensured his wish wasn't fulfilled and Bangalore had a herculean task ahead of them when they came out to bat.
Thankfully, Kumble's batsmen were up to the task.
Kings XI Punjab: Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Ravi Bopara, Yuvraj Singh, Mahela Jayawardene, Manvinder Bisla, Irfan Pathan, Mohd Kaif, Piyush Chawla, Bipul Sharma, S Sreesanth, Yusuf Abdulla.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Anil Kumble (captain), Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Manish Pandey, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Eoin Morgan, Robin Uthappa, Praveen Kumar, R Vinay Kumar, Dale Steyn.