Despite a valiant fight from Nitish Rana and Andre Russell, Kolkata Knight Riders lost to the bottom-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 10 runs. Besides Rana and Russ, Virat Kohli was the other star of the night thanks to a century for his side. KKR won the toss and interestingly sent RCB to bat first on a pitch that was bouncy and an outfield that was very fast. This victory is RCB’s second this year.
Parthiv Patel (11) and Virat Kohli (100) started off the proceedings for RCB. Parthiv was taken by Sunil Narine and it brought Akshdeep Nath to the crease. Nath didn’t stay long as Andre Russell removed him, introducing Moeen Ali to the crease. After Ali entered, Kohli was bolstered. Both batsmen looked like they meant business. Kohli, more so. The skipper took things to his own hands, making power hitting look like the easiest thing. The combo of Ali (66) and Kohli were a double threat, taking apart anything and everything thrown them.
Once Moeen departed, Kohli got more aggressive. Along with Marcus Stoinis (17*) he guided RCB to a mammoth 213. Stoinis’ cameo took a bit of pressure off the skipper who didn’t want to face a single dot ball.
KKR started off with a disaster as Chris Lynn (1) and Sunil Narine (18) departed cheaply. Dale Steyn’s influence on RCB was massive and he caused quite a few issues to the KKR batting lineup. Shubman Gill (9) looked out of sorts as well. Robin Uthappa became the butt of criticism for his 9 off 20 balls. With Uthappa’s dismissal came Andre Russell. Nitish Rana was already at the crease, looking solid. The duo got KKR as close as possible to the target, making Kohli sweat. Much like the Virat-Moeen partnership, Russell (65) and Rana (85*) were at their very best, nearly stealing the game. The last over was very eventful with KKR needing 24. Russell missed out on a ball and the other two were defended by RCB. The WIndian lost his wicket in the penultimate ball. Rana managed a six in the last ball.
KKR was let down by their top order and terrible fielding. A lot of runs were scored towards the end of RCB’s innings and they could’ve been stopped. The combination of Lynn and Narine seems to be hit-and-miss and KKR should look hard into that. There’s been no change in positions in the points table today. KKR remain at number six with eight points while RCB now have four points and are at the bottom. Rajasthan Royals are at number seven with four points and a better net run rate than RCB.