Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) produced a ruthless performance with the ball as they contained a powerful star-studded batting line-up of the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to eke out a 10-wicket victory at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on last night.
RCB bowlers used the most of the 22-yard Indore strip which looked to have some bite for the quicks to demolish Kings XI Punjab batsmen in their home ground. Virat Kohli and his boys further strengthened their play-offs position to keep alive in the ongoing 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) tournament.
If Royal Challengers Bangalore can win all their remaining three games, then there is a chance for the visitors to move to the third position in the IPL 2018 stats and remains one of the favourite teams to play in the knock-out stage. Let us have a look at the highlights of the 48th IPL encounter between RCB & KXIP.
Virat Kohli leading Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss and sent Ravichandran Ashwin & his boys to bat first.
The visitors decided to continue with the same playing XI from their previous match.
The hosts made 1 change in their playing XI, Marcus Stoinis was replaced by injured Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Kings XI Punjab Innings
Punjab openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle started the innings on a cautious note as they scored only 1 run from the starting 11 balls of the match. But a short pitch delivery from Tim Southee was enough for KL Rahul to open the innings with a six.
On the other hand, Chris Gayle hit 3 fours in the 4th over bowled by Kiwis fast bowler Tim Southee.
Kings XI Punjab squandered a decent 36-run stand for the opening wicket partnership from the right-hand batsman KL Rahul (21 off 15 balls; 6x3) and left-hand batsman Chris Gayle (18 off 14, 4x4) before dismissing both the batsmen in the fifth over bowled by the Umesh Yadav.
RCB speedster Umesh Yadav had the first laugh when he bagged both the openers for similar deliveries. Mohammed Siraj immediately joined the party to have a second smile in the RCB player faces when Karun Nair (1) was caught by Virat Kohli at slip in the 6th over.
Aaron Finch was the top-scorer in the Kings XI Punjab innings as he scored 26 runs in 23 balls with a single boundary and 2 maximum hits into the stands.
The hosts lost the momentum as no batsmen were able to maintain the pressure throughout the innings and return to the hut at regular intervals. Except Rahul, Gayle and Finch, no other batsmen even scored a double-figure mark for their team.
Finally, Kings XI Punjab were bundled out for 88 in 15.1 overs. For RCB, the wickets were shared between the fantastic Umesh Yadav (3-23), Siraj (1-17), Chahal (1-6), Grandhomme (1-8) and Moeen Ali (1-13).
Royal Challengers Bangalore Innings
Chasing a meagre 89-run target, Bangalore openers started the chase with a positive note as RCB skipper Virat Kohli walked out to open the innings with Parthiv Patel to enhance their net-run-rate.
Virat Kohli played aggressively from the word go as the Indian Run-Machine produced some fireworks to score 48 runs in 28 balls. His innings was studded with 6 fences to the ropes and 2 huge hits over the rope.
Another opener, Parthiv Patel remained unbeaten 40 in 22 balls. The wicket-keeper batsman hit 7 beautiful boundaries.
The pair scored 92 runs for the opening wicket partnership. This is the RCB's best opening partnership of the season.
Without any trouble, RCB chased the paltry target with 11.5 overs to spare and 10 wickets remaining.
KXIP: 88-10 (KL Rahul 21, Gayle 18, Aaron Finch 26; Umesh Yadav 3-23).
RCB: 92-0 (Virat Kohli 48*, Parthiv Patel 40*)
Player-of-the-Match: Umesh Yadav (3/23)
Orange Cap (Top Run Scorer): Rishabh Pant (582 runs)
Purple Cap (Top Wicket Taker): Andrew Tye (20 wickets)
Top Team: SRH with 18 points (9 wins out of 12 matches)
Bottom Team: DD with 6 points (3 wins out of 12 matches)
In the 49th IPL contest, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will lock horns with Rajasthan Royals (RR) at Sourav Ganguly's home ground (Eden Gardens) in Kolkata at 8 PM on May 15.
(Image Courtesy: Twitter)