Brar stars with a trio of big IPL scalps

·2-min read

Punjab Kings have found a new hero in left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar, who blew away Royal Challengers Bangalore's three star batsmen in just seven balls to inspire his side to a 34-run Indian Premier League triumph.

Bangalore thus missed a chance to return to the top of the IPL on Friday as they crumbled while chasing 180 to win.

They started slowly in the face of tight bowling but their legs were cut from beneath them by Brar, who bowled Indian captain Virat Kohli and Australian star Glenn Maxwell in successive balls and then dismissed South African magician AB de Villiers, all in the span of seven deliveries.

Bangalore were left in tatters at 4-69 and were soon out for good when Ravi Bishnoi took two wickets in two balls to reduce them to 7-96 in the 16th over.

The high-flyers finished on 8-145 in reply to Punjab's 5-179, which lifted the Kings to fifth place.

Punjab got off to an excellent start thanks to a great innings from skipper Lokesh Rahul, who carried his bat for 91 not out off 57 balls, after a typically dashing burst by Chris Gayle with 46 off 24.

But this was Brar's show as he hit a brisk 25 not out, took 3-19 with the ball, as well as taking a catch.

"I didn't feel anything about being hit for six because a bowler always has a chance to come back. So I knew I could come back," Brar said.

"My first IPL wicket is Virat and that helps. Your body opens up, you get confident, and things fall into place."

Gayle joined Rahul at 1-19 in the fourth over, and unleashed against Kyle Jamieson's loose deliveries in the sixth with five boundaries to end the powerplay.

After a couple of sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal, Gayle was out in the 11th over after a nick of his glove at 2-99.

Rahul started the last over on 76, and hit medium-pacer Harshal Patel for a six over fine leg and two boundaries,with Brar completing the 22-run last over with a six over the square leg boundary.

When Brar got Kohli to miss a ball which kept low, hit Maxwell's off stump next ball, and de Villiers mistimed his shot, Bangalore were in deep trouble.

It was game over when legspinner Bishnoi struck twice in two balls and a late flurry of runs from Patel merely delayed Punjab's third win in seven matches.