MAY 14, 2018
Brief Scorecard: Royal Challengers Bangalore 92 for 0 (Kohli 48*, Parthiv 40) beat Kings XI Punjab 88 (Finch 26, Umesh 3-23) by 10 wickets
May 14, 2018: Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2018, Indore Umesh Yadav dealt Kings XI Punjab early blows with a spate of short balls – BCCI
INDORE – It was Kings XI Punjab’s moment, their venue and supposedly their people at their adopted home. By the end of the night, the loud cheers were reserved for Royal Challengers Bangalore, who stormed home to their second straight victory to keep alive their chances of a play-offs berth in IPL 2018.
KXIP were expected to present a stern test for the Royal Challengers, who have to win all their remaining games to finish in the top four. On a batting friendly surface in Indore, the likes of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle were expected to cause much mayhem.
Only two days ago, Kolkata Knight Riders had hammered 245/6, the fourth highest total in the history of the IPL. KXIP, led by Rahul, made a heroic effort but fell 31 runs short. It was a run-fest on Saturday and another was expected Monday.
And then Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers – oh, the possibilities of batting records being broken and balls flying out of the ground.
Instead, KXIP were blown away for 88, their second lowest total ever. Kohli, who waled in to open with Parthiv Patel to provide a further boost to their net run rate, clobbered a quick-fire 48 not out and became the first man in the history of IPL to score at least 500 runs in a season for the fifth time.
Patel, hit some sizzling shots along the way and finished unbeaten on 40 as RCB decimated KXIP by 10 wickets with 11.5 overs to spare.
KXIP were doomed from the start. They lost their way soon after being put in to bat by a gleeful Kohli, who smiled widely because the hosts were playing without Mujeeb Ur Rahman, the mystrey spinner from Afghanistan. Rahul, who came into the game on the back of 84 not out, 95 not out and 66, was the first to depart for 21. Gayle followed three balls later as Umesh Yadav pocketed two wickets to rock the foundation of the hosts.
The next hour was a haze for KXIP. Karun Nair, Marcus Stoinis and Mayank Agarwal departed inside the first 10 overs. Half of KXIP’s brittle batting line-up was sitting in the dug-out. Their worst nightmare had come true: what would happen if Rahul and Gayle failed together. The answer was 88 all out.
Finch tried to wage somewhat of a battle but that was never going to be enough. All he managed was a 23-ball 26 and that happened to be the highest score for KXIP.
If the shot selection by the KXIP batsmen was poor, the running was downright mediocre. R Ashwin, Mohit Sharma and Ankit Rajpoot were run-out; that was criminal on a pitch with no demons in it.
Kohli and Patel wiped off the target without breaking a sweat. The frustration in the KXIP camp was palpable but it was all their own doing. Poor batting, poor running and poor bowling would have left team director Virender Sehwag gutted.
On the other hand, Kohli, who demands clinical performances, could not have been happier. The fielding was right up there, the bowlers bowled superb lines and the openers made a mockery of the KXIP bowling line-up.
RCB have now kept their chances of a play-offs berth alive but KXIP, while still in with a chance, suddenly realize they have plenty of flaws to iron out before they continue their forward march.
Courtesy/Source: India Today