With AB de Villiers getting sick, RCB was sure to miss something. With a couple of wins in this season, this team is languishing at the bottom of the table. And, who was the man to bring those two victories? No prize for guessing. It’s the superman Abraham Benjamin de Villiers. No AB de Villiers, no party for RCB. With him missing the game, Virat Kohli seemed an integral part of the team who had to carry his bat through to get some respectable score.
Fortunately for KKR, Dinesh Kartik won the toss and what he would choose was a certainty in a belter of a pitch at Chinnaswamy. Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum — two foreign openers. With KKR being spin heavy side, no wonder, spinners were going to handle the bulk of powerplay overs. Kartik started with Piyush Chawla. And, surprisingly used Narine in the second over and they were economical. Then came the destroyer of Ashes 2014 Mitchell Johnson. Pace on the ball, pace off the bat. It was a chance for both the openers to free their arms and play some shots and they did too. RCB was strangled by the spin bowling which meant they couldn’t get off to a rollicking start.
In the 8th over, RCB openers looked to attack even if the spinners were their demons. 16 runs came off that over. As they were looking to get the grip over the first half of the match, Quinton de Kock was undone by a beautiful delivery from Kuldeep. Russel swung the match with the ball by taking two wickets in his first over. Virat Kohli came in the crease but didn’t enough impetus to the innings straight away. It was clear he wanted to bat through the innings as de Villiers was missing. Mandeep Singh showed some spark with Kohli in the middle. After attacking in the death overs, RCB was able to get a par score of 175.
The target didn’t seem enough for the bowlers to defend successfully given their recent outings.
Chriss Lynn and Sunil Narine were familiar nemesis for Virat Kohli. A year ago, they tormented RCB’s bowling by producing 100 runs within powerplay. Definitely, the openers were the batsmen to watch out for. As they have done recently against the unsuccessful bowling line up of RCB, they got to a good start. However, the bowlers did execute the team plans by bowling short bowl at Narine. Furthermore, they created the chances too. But, fortune denied them the early wickets. Sunil Narine survived some aggressive short bowling and Chris Lynn was lucky to get dropped on 7 by Murugan Ashwin. RCB’s fielding didn’t support the bowlers as they dropped few. Robin Uthappa showed the good form he was in and played a good inning of 36 from 21 balls striking 3 sixes and 3 fours. Chris Lynn had to grind to gather runs at the middle overs. At the other end, Rana got retired hurt and Russel had to come to the crease. But, it was not a best of the birthday gifts for him as he was caught by de Kock off the bowling of Mohammad Siraj. The game somehow came in the balance though KKR were the obvious favorites. But, Kartik showed some good glimpses of his form accumulating 23 runs off 10 balls which shattered the hope of RCB fans if they had any.
Shubman Gill, under 19 world cup champion, had to come to finish the match and boy didn’t he do it in style. He took KKR home by scoring four off the first ball of the last over. Chris Lynn, who was in the middle throughout the innings, was fittingly adjudged the man of the match.
By Sudarshan Regmi