Virat Kohli, de Villiers Power RCB to Their Maiden Win This Season
Royal Challengers Bangalore registered a shocking six straight losses in the Indian Premier League season. But when Virat Kohli’s at the wheel, giving up is definitely not an option. And he proved just that on Saturday, 13 April, when RCB registered their first win of IPL 2019, defeating Kings XI Punjab by a massive 8 wickets.
For only the second time this season, captain Kohli managed to win the toss, and then put R Ashwin-led KXIP in to bat first.
Swashbuckling opener Chris Gayle missed a well-deserved century by a whisker, smashing an unbeaten 99 off 64 balls to power Kings XI Punjab to a 173 for four. Skipper Kohli's scintillating 53-ball 67 followed by AB de Villiers (59* off 38) and Marcus Stoinis’ (28* off 16) fruitful knock guided RCB to a thumping eight-wicket victory.
It was the 85-run stand between Kohli and de Villers before the South African got involved in a match-winning 46-run partnership with Stoinis which handed Bangalore a much needed win.
Defending 174, Punjab bowlers not only failed in getting wickets but also leaked runs as the visitors crossed the line with four balls to spare.
Eyeing their maiden win this season, openers Partiv Patel (19 off 9) and Kohli started on a good note as they added 36 runs in the first three overs before the former became a victim of Ravichandran Ashwin in the fourth over.
Kohli, who has been criticised for his captaincy this season, however took charge of the chase and led from the front with de Villers to help cross the 100-run mark in 11.1 overs.
With everything moving in Bangalore's way tonight, Mohammed Shami bought some relief to the Punjab camp after picking the crucial wicket of Kohli in the 16th over with the visitors' score reading 128/2.
Kohli's knock contained eight boundaries.
The Punjab bowlers however, were denied to make any further inroads in the Bangalore batting line-up as de Villiers and Stoinis joined hands and played sensibly before fetching 14 runs in the second last over off Shami.
In the final over, Ashwin handed the ball to former Bangalore player Sarfaraz Khan to defend six runs. However, there was no stopping the Bangalore pair as Stoinis hammered a four in the first ball before picking the required couple of runs in the next to hand a comfortable victory to his side.
De Villiers' innings was laced with five fours and two maximums while Stoinis hammered four boundaries.
For Punjab, Ashwin and Shami bagged a wicket each.
Earlier, opener Chris Gayle missed out on his century by just one run but his valiant effort (99* off 64) helped Punjab (KXIP) post a fighting 173/7.
Despite getting little support from the other end throughout the innings, Gayle, the self-proclaimed 'universe boss', kept one end in control after staying in the middle through the 20 overs.
Put into bat, Gayle and KL Rahul started on a cautious note as they accumulated 36 runs in the first five overs. It was Yuzvendra Chahal who drew the first blood for the visitors as he broke the 66-run opening stand by dismissing Rahul (18) in the seventh over.
With just 20 runs added to the Punjab scorecard, Chahal struck again as he castled Mayank Agarwal, who could only manage to contribute 15 runs to the team total.
Sarfaraz Khan (15) also failed to stay in the middle for long as he edged Mohammed Siraj to Parthiv behind the stumps in the 13th over. Moeen Ali then trapped Sam Curran (1) plumb in front with the hosts' scorecard reading 113/4 in the 14th over. The visiting bowlers kept on striking at regular intervals, but couldn't get the better off Gayle.
The Caribbean power hitter kept the scoreboard moving as he smashed some lusty blows to guide his side to a fighting total. His knock was laced with 10 fours and five sixes. Mandeep Singh also remained unbeaten on 18 off 16 deliveries as Punjab handed a 174-run target to Bangalore.
Chahal (2/33) was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors, while Mohammed Siraj and Moeen Ali picked up one wicket apiece.. Read more on IPL by The Quint. RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand Deaths Fan Runs Onto Field to Hug Kohli, And it’s All Quite Dramatic . Read more on IPL by The Quint.