Royal Challengers Bangalore clinched their first points of VIVO IPL 2018 after they defeated Kings XI Punjab by 4 wickets at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday night. After winning the toss and opting to bowl, the RCB bowlers dismissed the visitors for 155. Theirreply wasn’t without drama; Brendon McCullum was dismissed second ball of the chase and Virat Kohli was dismissed for 21, but AB de Villiers batted patiently, and exploded at just the right time to tilt the scales back in favour of his team. Courtesy his half-century, and his 59-run partnership with Mandeep Singh, RCB got over the finish line in the final over.
Earlier in the evening, Kings XI Punjabgot off to a breezy start with their opening pair adding 32 in the first three overs. But the good work done by the openers came undone after Umesh Yadav struck thrice in the fourth over. KL Rahul, who would be the top-scorer of the innings, and Karun Nair revived the innings with a 58-run partnership. Their dismissals in successive overs once again derailed the innings. Ravichandran Ashwin made 33 – his highest score in the IPL – to take KXIP to a respectable score.
Standout batting performances
AB de Villiers walked out to bat after Virat Kohli was dismissed in the fifth over. The South African was hitting the ball well, but it wasn’t the typical blazing start one has come to expect from him. De Villiers’ innings was of two parts; he had 34 from 32 balls at the end of sixteen overs, when he decided to shift gears. He picked out the teenager Mujeeb ur Rahman – who was unplayable until then – and hit him for two monstrous sixes. In the following over, he deposited a Mohit Sharma slower ball deep into the stands at long-on.
De Villiers was dismissed at the start of the nineteenth over, when he picked out deep point; but his 57 – made from 40 balls – had almost done the job.
Earlier in the evening, after playing out two dot balls, when KL Rahul creamed the third ball of the match for a six over cover, one got the impression he was carrying on from where his innings was nipped in the previous match. The 25-year old was in the zone; he was forceful, but his shot selection was spot on – until his dismissal at the start of the twelfth over. Rahul hit four sixes in his innings; a six over cover to open his account, a nonchalant flick off the pads off the fourth ball of the match, a pull shot off the left-arm seamer Kulwant Khejroliya in the fifth over and a stupendous flat six off YuzvendraChahal in the seventh over. There were a couple of boundaries through fine-leg – including a brilliant piece of improvisation when he walked slightly to the off-side and paddled the ball round the corner.
Rahul, who scored 16 runs off the first over, went on to make 47 before an ugly premeditated heave cost him his wicket; the ball took the top-edge and lobbed to point where Sarfaraz Khan completed a simple catch.
Notable Support Act - Batting
There were two significant contributions in the KXIP innings; Karun Nair made 29 from 26 balls and stitched together a 58-run partnership with Rahul which put the KXIP innings back on track. That partnership, which lasted for 7.1 overs, ended with Rahul’s dismissal. In the following over, Karun perished too – castled after not making contact while attempting an ugly heave.
Ravichandran Ashwin played some impressive shots in his 33 – made from 21 balls; there was a cracking pull off the hips, an elegant extra-cover drive (which would have made any top-order batsman proud) and then a lofted off-drive off Chris Woakes. Ashwin hit one six too; he charged down the track and hit the leg-spinner YuzvendraChahal straight over his head. He was stumped the following delivery when he charged down yet again, but couldn’t get bat on to a ball deliberately fired wide.
Quinton de Kock made a stroke-filled 45 – decorated with seven boundaries and a six – before he was comprehensively beaten by Ashwin and lost his stumps in the twelfth over. Mandeep Singh made a useful contribution in RCB’s run-chase; he contributed 19 to the partnership with de Villiers that took RCB to the brink, and added 3 more runs to his score before being run out attempting a risky second run.
Standout bowling performance
Barring Chris Woakes, all the remaining RCB bowlers had a good outing. The standout performer though was Umesh Yadav; the pacer conceded 10 runs off his first over, but came back strongly to pick up three wickets in his second over. He had the KXIP opener Mayank Agarwal reach out to a wide delivery, only to edge to the wicket-keeper; the following delivery he rapped Aaron Finch in front of the stumps, and four balls later beat Yuvraj Singh for pace and castled him neck and crop. The pacer from Vidarbha walked away with returns of 3-23 from his four overs; his spell included 13 dot balls.
For Kings XI Punjab, their captain R Ashwin was the most successful bowler. He deceived Quinton de Kock in the air and castled him – in the process breaking a blossoming third wicket partnership. The following delivery, he bowled a leg-break which Sarfaraz Khan guided to the fielder at slip. Ashwin finished his four overs with figures of 2-30.
Mujeeb ur Rahman was the other standout bowler for the visitors; the RCB batsmen struggled to pick the mystery bowler from Afghanistan and therefore struggled to score off him. In the fifth over, the 17-year old picked up a big scalp; he tossed the ball in the air to get the batsman caught in two minds, only to play a nothing shot and let the ball sail in the big gap between bat and pad and shatter the stumps. The batsman who was comprehensively bowled was the RCB captain Virat Kohli. Mujeeb’s figures – which read 3-0-30-1 at one stage – were ruined by de Villiers’ late innings onslaught, but the youngster still finished with respectable figures of 4-0-29-1.
Stat of the Match
RCB became the first team to bowl out a side in VIVO IPL 2018.
AB de Villiers had 35 from 33 balls at one stage of the run-chase; he scored 22 runs from the next 6 deliveries before his dismissal.
Kings XI Punjab 155 in 19.2 overs (KL Rahul 47, R Ashwin 33, Umesh Yadav 3-23) lost to
Royal Challengers Bangalore 159-6 in 19.3 overs (AB de Villiers 57, Quinton de Kock 45, R Ashwin 2-30) by 4 wickets.
Man of the Match:
Umesh Yadav, for his sensational spell of 4-0-23-3.