Royal Challengers' hits, Kings XI's misses in the last three overs

Not closing down games a downside for Kings XI this season - Ashwin (2:29)

R Ashwin looks back on Kings XI Punjab's 17-run loss, their struggles at winning clutch situations and AB de Villiers' knock (2:29)

It's the fifth ball of the 19th over of Royal Challengers Bangalore's innings. Mohammed Shami goes searching for a yorker but ends up bowling a high full toss, at AB de Villiers. De Villiers takes his eyes off the ball and fends at it.

In such cases, the ball generally drops near the square-leg umpire, and the batsman would collect a single.

Not this time. The piece of willow de Villiers is holding right now has nothing but the sweet spot. He connects, and the ball just keeps sailing. Sailing well over deep-backward square leg for a 97-metre six, de Villiers' third in as many balls.

The previous two balls Shami tried to bowl full and wide. But it's already that phase of the innings where de Villiers just goes boom. He somehow manages to get under those and time them well enough to clear the boundary: two sliced sixes over long-off, if you like. Shami ends up conceding 21 off the over.

In the 18th over, Hardus Viljoen had conceded 16, de Villiers dispatching a leg-stump full toss to fine leg for a four before launching an overpitched delivery for a six over long-on.

But the worst is yet to come for Kings XI Punjab. Bowling the final over of the innings, Viljoen ends up serving two length balls, two full tosses and another full delivery. De Villiers smashes the first ball of the over for a six before taking a single off the next. Stoinis, who is on 26 off 30 at this point, hits the next four balls for 4, 6, 4, 6 as Royal Challengers collect 64 from the last three overs to wallop from 138 for 4 at the end of 17 overs to 202 for 4.

Fast-forward to the closing overs of the chase.

Kings XI are 167 for 3 at the end of 17 overs, with 36 required off 18 balls. The momentum is on their side; the last four overs have produced 51. Nicholas Pooran is batting on 43 off 23, David Miller keeping him company with a run-a-ball 21 - much like de Villiers and Stoinis were at this stage for Royal Challengers.

But while Shami and Viljoen ended up feeding seven length balls and five full tosses in the last three overs, conceding a total of 51 runs off those, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini aim for short of length at full throttle.

Earlier, Pooran had belted Moeen Ali and Washington Sundar for five sixes, each hit either over long-off or long-on. His method, through the innings, has been simple: give himself room and free the arms.

But now, with the ball not in his arc, and also hurried on to him, Pooran finds it difficult to time his shots. In the 18th over, bowled by Umesh, he mistimes one such hit to Stoinis at long-on but the fielder grasses the chance. The drop notwithstanding, Umesh concedes just six from the over, bowling four of the six legitimate deliveries either short or short of good length.

And as it happens with the pressure mounting, you are not able to put away the deliveries which you would normally. With 30 required off 12, Saini gets Miller caught at long-on with a length ball. On the last ball of the over, Pooran too falls in the same way: caught at long-on off a length ball. Moreover, Saini concedes just three from the over.

In the final over, R Ashwin hits Umesh's first ball - a fuller delivery at the stumps - for a straight six but the next one is again a length ball that Kohli pouches at long-on. Viljoen gloves his first delivery - a short one down the leg side - to Parthiv Patel. With that, whatever semblance of hope remained for Kings XI is dashed. Royal Challengers, otherwise known for their death-bowling blues, concede just 18 from the last three overs to win the match by 17 runs.

During those three-over phases, neither team bowled a single yorker, but the reasons were different. The Kings XI bowlers failed to land any, whereas the Royal Challengers bowlers aimed for a different strategy to make it difficult for the batsmen to clear the straight boundary.

Off the ten short or short-of-length deliveries Umesh and Saini bowled in that period, they gave away just nine runs. On the other hand, Shami and Viljoen bowled just four such deliveries, conceding one.

They say most T20 matches are decided in the last five overs of each innings. On Wednesday night, the game was decided in the last three.