Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) came so close to winning their first match of the IPL in 2019 but once again faltered in the end and allowed the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to pull off a dramatic win, thanks to some fabulous hitting by Andre Russell in the end. RCB have now played 5 games on the trot and have won nothing!
Kohli And DeVilliers Take RCB Past 200
Virat Kohli walked out to be and looked completely focused, like a man who had to win at all costs. Kohli made a classy 89 out of 49 balls and received great support from AB Devilliers who made 63 of 32 balls. M Stoinis took some time to start his innings but played a cameo, hitting 28 of 13 balls to take RCB to a commanding total of 205.
RCB should have got another 15 to 20 runs more but some good bowling by KKR towards the end, pulled them back. It was always going to be a challenge given the strong KKR batting line-up and the average RCB bowling line-up.
DreRussell Changes The Game
KKR started out well and stayed on top of the run rate as C Lynn (43), R Uthappa (33) and N Rana (37) threatened to take the game away from RCB. Virat Kohli introduced left armer P Negi and that changed the equation as he picked up 2 wickets in his three overs and restricted the scoring.
KKR captain D Karthik for some reason decided that he had to block a few balls to get himself in and what caused the run rate to skyrocket. When Andre Russell walked into bat, it looked like the game was over as KKR as they needed to get 75 runs in four overs. D Karthik then got out and DreRussell took charge of the game.
Russell hammered 48 runs in 13 balls, hitting 7 sixes and 1 four to help KKR win with 5 balls to spare.
Captaincy Blunders Made With V Kohli
V Kohli looked like a helpless man at the press conference saying he cannot do much when his bowlers are unable to defend 75 runs in 4 overs. However, Kohli made a number of mistakes with his captaincy.
He chose to introduce M Siraj in the 18th over, knowing that he was low on confidence after dropping two catches, bowling a no ball and being hit in his first spell. Siraj bowled his second no ball and was taken off. Kohli then threw the ball to M Stoinis to bowl out the remaining 4 balls. This was another bad move as he should have gone to Stoinis in the first place and by not doing so, it sent a message that he had no confidence in him.
That was bizarre given that Stoinis bowls at the death for Australia. Kohli also failed to bowl out his best bowler P Negi who he saved till the 20th over and by that time the match was over!