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3.6 overs (1 Run)
1 run, played towards mid off.
3.5 overs (6 Runs)
SIX! Padikkal gets a six there. Full on middle, Padikkal whips it away off his toes and used the pace. Gets it just over mid-wicket for a maximum.
3.4 overs (1 Run)
Another short ball, Finch came a couple of steps down, pulls to Bishnoi at fine leg and takes a single.
3.3 overs (1 Run)
Short ball, pulled to square leg for a single.
3.2 overs (1 Run)
Finch comes down the track and helps the fuller ball to deep square leg for a single.
3.1 overs (1 Run)
On off, fullish, tapped to short mid-wicket for a single.
2.6 overs (1 Run)
The wrisrts coming into play again, a single. Full on off and middle, wristed to deep square leg for one.
2.6 overs (1 Run)
WIDE! Full and down the leg side, Padikkal lets it be.
2.5 overs (4 Runs)
FOUR! Over Gayle at short fine leg, he is tall but cannot get to it. Full on middle, Padikkal wrists this uppishly over Gayle at short fine leg and gets a boundary. The Universe Boss leapt to get a hold of it but it went over him.
2.4 overs (2 Runs)
Full on middle, Padikkal works this to deep square leg for a couple.
2.3 overs (1 Run)
A misfield and a single. Full and outside off, Finch drives this to Pooran at cover-point. A fumble by the left-hander and a single is stolen.
2.2 overs (0 Run)
Short ball, outside off, Finch watchfully lets it be.
2.1 overs (0 Run)
Edged but does not carry! Solid start for Arshdeep! Good length ball on off, Finch looks to defend but the ball shapes away from him. Finch looks to defend but gets a thick outside edge. Luckily Aaron looked to play it with soft hands. The ball goes to the right of first slip and guess who dives and saves runs for his side? It is the Universe Boss, Chris Gayle. Imagine the cheers if there were fans in the stadium.
Arshdeep Singh to bowl now.
1.6 overs (1 Run)
A single to finish. On middle, Finch taps it to backward square leg and gets to the other end.
1.5 overs (4 Runs)
FOUR! Easy pickings for Finch. Fullish on off, he lofts this over the bowler’s head for a boundary.
1.4 overs (0 Run)
Bouncer on top of the stumps, Finch ducks and lets it through.
1.3 overs (0 Run)
On middle, Finch flicks but finds Pooran at short mid-wicket. A slight fumble from the fielder there prompts Finch for a single. But the fielder recovers and throws the ball back to the striker’s end. Finch though decided against the single and got back.
1.2 overs (4 Runs)
FOUR OFF BYES! Nips back a bit, does Finch and Rahul in. Back of a length around off, pitches and nips back in. Finch is down the track and looks to play at it but misses. So does Rahul, the keeper. It goes through to the fine leg fence for a boundary off extras.
1.1 overs (1 Run)
Back of a length on off, clipped to mid-wicket for a single.
Who will bowl from the other end? Mohammed Shami it is.
0.6 over (6 Runs)
SIX! Runs, maximum! Floated on the pads, Finch gets down and sweeps this over square leg for a maximum. A flat one it was.
0.5 over (0 Run)
On the shorter side on the pads, Finch chips down the track and looks to work that on the leg side. Misses, gets hit on the pads. It goes to the on side and he says no to Padikkal for a run.
0.4 over (1 Run)
Padikkal is away as he clips the flatter ball to square leg and takes one.
0.3 over (0 Run)
Around off, fuller, driven to cover-point.
0.2 over (0 Run)
Floated around off, Padikkal comes on the front foot and defends this out.
0.1 over (1 Run)
Finch is off the mark straightaway and so are Bangalore. Flatter on middle, he rocks back and taps this towards mid-wicket for a single.
All set for the action to get underway! The umpires make their way out to the middle but the Punjab players are already on the field, taking their respective positions. Aaron Finch and Devdutt Padikkal are the openers for Bangalore. Glenn Maxwell to start with the ball for Punjab from around the wicket. Here comes the first ball…
Punjab (Playing XI) – Chris Gayle (IN PLACE OF MUJEEB UR RAHMAN), KL Rahul (WK/C), Mayank Agarwal, Deepak Hooda (IN PLACE OF MANDEEP SINGH), Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Murugan Ashwin (IN PLACE OF PRABHSIMRAN SINGH).
Bangalore (Unchanged Playing XI) – Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Punjab skipper, KL Rahul admits they were looking to bat as well. Tells the wicket will remain same and hopes picking up early wickets can put pressure on them. Tells they have played good cricket but have been unable to win and are looking to try and execute to their best. Tells everyone knows it is a must win game for them and sees the positive as now they have no other option but try and do their best. Informs there are three changes as Mujeeb, Prabhsimran Singh and Mandeep miss out as the latter got injured yesterday. Adds that the Universe Boss comes in, along with Murugan Ashwin and Deepak Hooda.
Virat Kohli, Bangalore’s skipper, says that there was no dew in the last game in the second innings. States that playing 200 games for the same franchise is unbelieveable and is grateful to the franchise. Adds that there is a lot of emotion for the franchise. Says that when the team wins it looks good for the captain but credits various individuals for the same. Kohli says that the bowlers need to focus on their skill sets and not worry too much about dimensions. States that that is the mindset that Bangalore carries. Informs they are going in unchanged.
Toss – Bangalore elect to BAT!
Pitch Report – Murali Kartik is in the middle along with Kevin Pietersen for the Pitch Report. KP says that this is a really good wicket. Will be more quicker than last night. States that wickets overall have slowed down but this one may be quick still. Pietersen says that the batsmen have understood how bowlers are bowling and will fine-tune their plans accordingly. Pietersen sticks to batting first for the captain winning the toss.
Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, is up for a chat. Says that he is looking forward to play today. Today is the day, let’s see what happens, he says. Adds that it is disappointing to come and just sit and not play. The Universe Boss though states that everyone wants to see where he is. Says that there is no pressure on him and adds that fans will be happy to see him. Just another day for Chris Gayle to go out and enjoy himself, he finishes off by saying.
Right then, hello all for our coverage of Match 31 of the 2020 Indian T20 League. Plenty of entertainment in store. Not just because it is Sharjah but because we also have dynamite-teams, Punjab and Bangalore, taking on each other there. Yes, the first round goes to Punjab and a thumping win it was. But given the form Kohli’s men are in, we might expect a reversal of that this time. Will we though? Stay tuned to find out…
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