RCB must be gutted after the loss. They were favorites to win the game until the 17th over of the second innings. They needed to keep their head for 18 more deliveries to get their first win of the season. They couldn’t do that against a bludgeoning Andre Russell. RCB seem hapless at the moment.
Batting first on a flat deck at Chinnaswamy stadium after losing the toss, Virat Kohli made his intentions clear with a flurry of boundaries at the beginning of the innings. He along with slightly slower Parthiv Patel took RCB to 64 in the 8th over. AB de Villiers joined Virat at the fall of the first wicket. He too was slow, to begin with, but picked up the pace as the innings went along. He along with Kohli added 108 runs in just 56 balls. Kohli missed out on a hundred when Kuldeep got him caught and bowled at 84. De Villiers continued to accelerate as he and Stoinis got RCB beyond 200. Stoinis' contribution, in the end, was crucial for RCB to post a 200-plus target for the Knight Riders.
With 205 on board, RCB had a real chance to register their first win. They picked up wickets although KKR got off to a quick start. As Uthappa and Lynn were looking to take the game away, Kohli introduced Negi into the attack. Negi removed both of them. The required run-rate kept soaring up in the meantime. With 53 needed off the last 3 overs, the game looked in RCB's pocket until Russell unleashed the beast. RCB had no answers to his exploits as they lost with 5 balls to spare.
Virat Kohli top scored for RCB with 84 off 49 balls at the strike rate of above 170. AB de Villiers started slow but make up for it with some big hits to score 63 at the strike rate of almost 200. Stoinis provided the late flourish at with a quick-fire 28 at the strike rate of 215.
KKR must feel lucky to have someone like Russell in their ranks who can win unwinnable matches for them. In the match against RCB, it seemed like the other batters have left too much even for Russell to do in the end. But Russell showed that no target is good enough for him when he gets going. He gulped the hefty target of 53 in last 3 overs on his own and brought victory to KKR with 5 balls spare.
KKR were against a determined Kohli and Co. when RCB started to bat first. The bowlers found it difficult to contain Kohli although they had some success against AB de Villiers at the start of the innings. Kuldeep Yadav took a stunner to get Kohli on 84 and break the 108 run partnership. KKR could not contain RCB in the end as the late charge by AB de Villiers and Stoinis took RCB beyond 200.
It was always going to be a difficult task to chase down 206. KKR started well with Narine and Lynn and scoring quickly. Lynn and Uthappa then took matters in their own hand and stacked up 65 in 8 overs. As Negi got both of them, the required run-rate kept increasing and Karthik and Rana found it difficult to get the boundaries. With 53 needed off the last three, Russell scored 23 of 18th and 29 of the 19th over to seal the game for KKR.
Rana, Kuldeep, and Narine got one wicket each for KKR. Russell’s freakish 48 of 13 with a strike rate of about 370 was the top score for KKR. Lynn (43), Rana (37) and Uthappa (33) made handy contributions in this improbable win.
The RCB are tattering, home and away alike. Their batting has let them down regularly and when the batting worked the bowlers have been messy. The Royal Challengers Bangalore play Delhi Capitals next at home on 7th April. They need to better at death bowling and be as good with the batting as they were against KKR.
The Kight Riders will play their next game against Rajasthan Royals away from home on 7th April. KKR is a strong team and are lucky to have someone like Andre Russell but they have problems in their bowling and the middle order would like to be a bit more aggressive than they were against RCB. Can they reach the top of the table in this match?
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