‘King’ Beats Kings: Virat Kohli’s 77 Carries RCB To Four-Wicket Victory Over PBKS


Virat Kohli scored a brilliant half-century on a slightly sticky pitch, sending the holiday crowd into raptures as Royal Challengers Bangalore registered a four-wicket win over Punjab Kings in their IPL match on Monday. The target of 177 runs was not very difficult but due to the nature of the deck it needed to be reduced carefully. Kohli (77, 49b, 11×4, 2×6) powered it to near perfection as RCB reached 178 for six with four balls to spare to register their first win of this IPL.

With Royal Challengers needing 47 runs from 24 balls at that point, Dinesh Karthik (28 not out off 10 balls) and 'impact player' Mahipal Lomror (17 not out, 8 balls) pulled them past the ropes with some sensible cricket. Karthik, the team's designated finisher, showed he can switch from the microphone to the willow with ease as he rounded Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh to finish in style with minimal fuss.

Kohli's innings was not a flawless effort as he got a life on the first ball for a duck and again when he was on 33, with fast bowler Sam Curran suffering the loss both times.

But when Kohli bats at such a high level it is a momentary distraction – for him and for the fans.

He showed this as he hit three more fours after the first ball fell on Curran and scored 16 runs in the opening over of the chase.

He had his money shots too – cover drives, sweat-flicks, lofts over extra cover as Kohli single-handedly dismantled the Kings attack.

But one shot stood out from the rest because of its timing and execution. Rabada, who was otherwise brilliant for figures of 2/23, edged one slightly short, and Kohli danced brilliantly over cover for four.

There is also a touch of Kohli's talent in the inside out maximum over cover of leg spinner Rahul Chahar.

Those shorts also testified to Kohli's class on a difficult deck, where other RCB batsmen like Cameron Green and Glenn Maxwell were struggling to make headway against Rabada and hugely influential spinner Harpreet Brar (2/13).

This was reflected in the fact that the highest partnership in RCB's innings was a 43-run stand for the third wicket between Kohli and Rajat Patidar (18, 18b).

But Kohli's only odyssey ended when his slash on a slower ball from Harshal Patel at off-stump failed to generate enough power and distance to clear Brar at deep third man.

Earlier, captain Shikhar Dhawan's practicality was the foundation on which Punjab Kings scored 176 runs for six wickets.

Dhawan (45, 37b), Jitesh Sharma (27, 20b) and Prabhsimran Singh (25, 17b) were the main contributors for the Kings after RCB decided to bowl first.

Mohammad Siraj and Maxwell took two wickets each for the host team.

The Kings got off to a poor start as Jonny Bairstow departed early as their outings on these shores, which spanned last year's World Cup, have now become more barren than the Indian summer.

But after the score was 17 runs for one wicket, the visiting team was given some runs by Dhawan and Prabhasimran, who faced the pitch and RCB bowlers patiently and scored 55 runs in 38 balls.

Dhawan was not exactly comfortable during his stay, but he showed enough courage to take advantage of loose balls, such as a length ball on the off-stump from left-arm spinner Mayank Dagar, which he smashed over long-on for six. Raised for.

In fact, RCB's bowlers, especially impressive left-arm pacer Yash Dayal (1/23), did well to bowl them out with balls coming at them from just short of a good length.

Prabhasimran also displayed his attacking flair at times and the most notable was his six off Green that went a maximum of 90 meters over mid-wicket.

But just as the alliance was flourishing, Prabhsimran tried to pull Maxwell, but a weak top edge was caught by stumper Anuj Rawat.

But as soon as Dhawan was out, the Punjab team got a huge blow.

The left-handed batsman's attempt to loft Maxwell off the ground ended up being caught by Kohli at long-on as the Kings were reduced to 98 for four in 12.1 overs.

The Kings needed a few more runs on the board to mount a meaningful challenge to the home team.

They got Jitesh, who hit Dagar for two consecutive sixes, and Curran, who added 52 runs for the fifth wicket in 34 balls.

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