The Kolkata Knight Riders made it 2-0 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, after, following their win in the earlier meeting in Kolkata, they defeated RCB by 6 wickets in Bengaluru on Sunday night. After winning the toss and opting to field, KKR restricted the hosts to 175-4, and thereafter chased down the runs in 19.1 overs.
The run-chase was piloted by the opener Chris Lynn, who scored a patient half-century and stayed until the job was done. There were useful contributions from Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik. Shubman Gill finished off the chase when he struck the first delivery of the final over – bowled by Umesh Yadav – through the off-side and collected a boundary.
Earlier in the evening, Royal Challengers Bangalore got off to a slow start. Brendon McCullum, drafted into the XI as a replacement for the ill AB de Villiers, and Quinton de Kock (29) added only 40 runs in the first six overs. But the opening pair stretched their partnership to 67 – RCB’s best opening partnership of VIVO IPL 2018 – before de Kock holed out just after the timeout. McCullum himself perished in the next over, miscuing a short delivery from Andre Russell to be caught behind; he made 38 from 28 balls.
It was then left to Virat Kohli once again, to score the bulk of the runs. And he did, finishing unbeaten on 68, in an innings in which he hit five fours and three sixes. The RCB captain started slowly – not scoring a boundary until after he had faced ten balls. But once he got the first one away – an outstanding cover drive, he started to find the ropes regularly. He played some stunning shots – driving fluently through cover and extra-cover, and collected three sixes with sweetly timed hits on the leg-side (which included two astonishing whip shots over wide long-on). RCB added 69 runs in the middle period, and 66 in the final five overs, to finish at 175-4. Apart from the opening partnership, the two other partnerships of note in the RCB innings were the 65-runs stand for the 4th wicket (with Mandeep Singh) and the unbeaten 35-run partnership for the 5th wicket (with Colin de Grandhomme)
Standout batting performance
Chris Lynn played a responsible innings and piloted the KKR run-chase. It wasn’t the usual attacking, quick-scoring innings from the Aussie, but a very mature and a thoughtful knock. On a pitch that was offering the spinners some assistance, Lynn chose the sweep shot as his primary weapon; off the 30 runs he scored off RCB’s two spinners, 24 were on the leg-side, almost all of them using the sweep shot. And when faced against the quick bowlers, he was his usual self – cutting and driving with all his might. Lynn brought up his half-century in the 14th over, getting to the milestone in 42 balls – his slowest half-century in his T20 career.
Lynn, dropped by Murugan Ashwin when he was on 7, made RCB pay for their generosity; he would walk back unbeaten on 62, made from 52 balls, his innings decorated with 7 fours and a six.
Notable Support Act – Batting
Various others chipped in with useful little scores in KKR’s run-chase. Narine once again feasted on the RCB bowling attack, scoring 27 from 19 balls; it was an important innings, in that he gave the innings the early momentum. The left-hander fancied his chances early on, and luckily for him, several of his mishits fell out of reach of the fielders.
Uthappa once again compiled a neat little inning; coming in to bat at number three, he struck three fours and as many sixes in his 21-ball 36. Uthappa looked good for more, but his innings was cut short when Tim Southee timed his jump to perfection and took a catch right on the ropes at long-on.
The match was delicately poised after KKR lost Nitish Rana (retired hurt) and Russell (0) to successive deliveries. But captain Dinesh Karthik once again brought urgency to proceedings, struck a couple of boundaries, ran well between the wickets, and ensured the task was achievable; he made 23 from 10 balls – his innings studded with two boundaries and a six – before a sensational catch by his counterpart Kohli ended his innings.
Standout bowling performance
On his 30th birthday, Andre Russell returned figures of 3-31 from his three overs. The Jamaican, used in this match as the sixth bowler, dismissed McCullum and Manan Vohra off consecutive deliveries.
Yuzvendra Chahal was yet again RCB’s best performer with the ball; the leg-spinner bowled his four overs and conceded just 29 runs. He should have had the wicket of Lynn in his very first over, but Murugan Ashwin grassed a regulation chance.
Stat of the Match
The opening partnership of 59 runs between Lynn and Narine in this match would be KKR’s best opening stand of the season. Prior to this effort, the most the KKR openers had added together was 19 runs!
Royal Challengers Bangalore 175-4 (Virat Kohli 68*, Brendon McCullum 38, Quinton de Kock 29, Andre Russell 3-31) lost to
Kolkata Knight Riders 176-4 in 19.1 overs (Chris Lynn 62*, Robin Uthappa 36, Sunil Narine 27, Murugan Ashwin 2-36, Mohammed Siraj 2-40) by 6 wickets.
Man of the Match:
Chris Lynn, for his unbeaten 62.