Kohli and Karthik’s performance takes RCB over the line against spirited Punjab Kings

Bowlers from both sides came up big at a traditionally high-scoring venue, but the class and experience of Kohli and Karthik settled in the end.

Kohli and Karthik

Royal Challengers Bangalore 178 for 6 (Kohli 77, Karthik 28*, Brar 2-13, Rabada 2-23) Punjab Kings 176 for 6 (Dhawan 45, Jitesh 27, Siraj 2-26, Maxwell 2) -29) by four wickets.

A masterclass from Virat Kohli in chasing a tough target in front of a packed Chinnaswamy Stadium. Thriller in the last over. RCB’s victory.

Royal Challengers Bangalore fans got everything they wanted in their team’s first home match of the season. in spades. But, it didn’t come without some fear.

For the longest time, Kohli – the king of the world – had things under control. Chasing 177, he made the crowd dance to his tune by smashing the Punjab Kings bowlers all over the ground with an inning of 77 runs in 49 balls.

Kagiso Rabada’s two wickets in the powerplay followed by Harpreet Brar’s economical spell of 2 wickets for 13 runs put RCB in trouble. The crowd was silenced. Is RCB going to become the first team to lose a home match in this IPL?

Enter finisher Dinesh Karthik.

It is written in his bio that he is 38 years old. He is! But seeing him moving around the crease and up and down the pitch, you won’t believe it. When RCB needed 47 runs from 22, Karthik came in and scored an unbeaten 28 off ten balls with three fours and two sixes to take RCB to victory with four balls to spare.


Memorable Kohli for Chinnaswamy

But, it almost wasn’t.

Kohli, who came to bat with a strong crowd behind him, took the strike. Sam Curran took the ball away from him on the very first ball. It took a fat lead and moved into short third place. Curran went closer on the next ball and invited a drive. Kohli took the bait and took a thick edge but the ball moved so fast that Bairstow could not react to first slip and it bounced off his hands. This was just the luck that Kohli needed. He drove Curran through cover on the next ball, then clipped him at short fine-leg, before hitting a half-volley through cover for 16 runs in the first over.

After this Rabada came but Kohli was in no mood to show any respect, he spoiled the track and slammed him over cover. After this, Kohli targeted Arshdeep Singh and scored 33 runs in 15 balls by hitting three fours in his one over, which is the highest number of runs scored in the first 15 balls in a T20 innings. Eight fours in his first 15 balls. Kohli was away, RCB was away.

Harpreet Brar bowled brilliantly and kept RCB calm and also took wickets. The Associated Press

RCB slowed down courtesy of Brar and Rabada

Rabada was the first among the wickets. He dismissed Faf du Plessis – for the third time in three IPL innings – and then took a good low catch off Jitesh Sharma to edge out Cameron Green.

However, the real pressure was applied by Harpreet Brar and he did so with his length.

Four overs, 13 runs, two wickets and then Kohli was on the storm.

Sixteen of the 24 balls bowled by Brar were on length. From quite high. He kept the pace fast and more importantly did not allow the batsmen to get under the ball. Both his wickets fell on length balls.

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Rajat Patidar, frustrated at not being able to get anything going, went back for a flatter delivery looking for Hawke down the leg side, but missed and looked back to find that his stumps were in disarray. Glenn Maxwell then tried to open the off side, but failed with the arm ball and could only get an under-edge on his stumps. Brar did not hit a single four in his four over spell. In fact, he only went for a double. Everyone else in it was single.

Meanwhile, Kohli reached his 100th 50-plus score in T20 cricket. But the required rate was increasing. He hit two fours off Harshal but fell soon and his slash could only reach deep third. After two balls, Anuj Rawat was out and the equation suddenly seemed out of hand for RCB.

However, Karthik finds an ally in Impact sub Mahipal Lomror. Lomror sent Curran to short fine leg for four runs on the first ball and then hit a six and a four to Arshdeep in the next over. After this, Karthik took over the innings and Harshal Patel scored 13 runs in the last over. With ten runs left to win in the final over, Karthik hit a six on the first ball against Arshdeep. A wide was then followed, before Karthik chased the ball over the bowler’s head.

Chinnaswamy and the RCB changeroom also got confused.

But big performances were also seen in the first half of the match.

Yash Dayal broke in the powerplay

Before Monday, Yash Dayal had played only one match in his T20 career at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. That came against RCB last season when he was with Gujarat Titans. His performance was not the best, taking 1 wicket for 39 runs in his four overs.

But day or night, Dayal was on the money.

He bowled three overs in the powerplay and conceded only ten runs and only one four.

Mohammed Siraj was dismissed for four runs off the first ball of the innings, and then gave away two more runs against Jonny Bairstow, but he got the last laugh. Bairstow swiped at a length ball, only to get a top-edge which puffed straight up.

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Dayal held the position at the other end, even though he did not get wickets.

It was the Test-match length that worked for him. He kept the ball short of a good length 12 out of 18 times in the first six overs and gave only four runs from it. There was not much swing on offer, but he ensured that the ball remained close to the batsman, and showed only a hint of movement, leaving no room for the batsmen to swing. Kings batsmen could score only 40 runs for 1 wicket in the first six overs.

RCB won with the ball

None of the Kings’ batsmen were able to convert their starts into solid results. Shikhar Dhawan scored 45 runs but it took 37 balls for him. Prabhsimran Singh scored 25, Jitesh 27, Liam Livingstone scored 17 runs. And that hurt him because RCB kept losing.

Maxwell took two wickets in the middle overs, while Siraj also got two wickets and it looked as if the Kings would fall well short of the par score, which is very high at the venue. But Shashank Singh hit two sixes and a four off Alzarri Joseph in the last over to take Kings to a respectable score, even though the score looked a little low at the halfway stage. And the same happened.

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