Kohli, spinners keep RCB’s faint qualification hopes alive


Virat Kohli now has 600 runs in IPL 2024 ©BCCI
Led by Virat Kohli’s 47-ball 92, Royal Challengers Bengaluru posted a 60-run win over Punjab Kings in Dharamsala on Thursday, to keep their hopes alive for the team’s qualification chances to IPL 2024 playoffs. PBKS meanwhile, stand eliminated on the basis of this result.

Having posted a record 241 for 6 after they were put in to bat, an all-round effort from the RCB bowlers ensured that PBKS were bundled out in only 17 overs, for 181.

Difference: Middle overs

Even as Punjab Kings kept on track with the required rate through the middle overs, they lost far too many wickets, which left them with far too much to catch up with in the death overs. In the same period, led by half-centuries from Rajat Patidar and Kohli, RCB laid the platform for a death-overs flourish.

    Score 108/1 89/5
    Run-Rate 12.00 9.89
    4s/6s 6/6 7/5
    Royal Challengers Bengaluru

Powerplay: The VK Show

Phase score – 56/2 [RR:9.33, 8x4s, 2x6s]

Vidwath Kaverappa, on his debut, should have accounted for the dismissal of the RCB’s top-4. However, four dropped catches in the powerplay meant that he had only two wickets to his credit – Faf du Plessis and Will Jacks. Generating steep bounce and outswing, he managed to trouble the RCB batters, but a slew of dropped catches gave the visitors repreives as they scored at a fair clip in the first phase.

Middle: The other VK takes over

Phase score – 108/1 [RR: 12.00., 6x4s, 6x6s]

After being troubled early on, Kohli and Patidar took the attack to Kaverappa, slamming the seamer for a couple of sixes soon after the Powerplay. Patidar, who was dropped once again in the eighth over – this time by Jonny Bairstow – smoked three sixes off Rahul Chahar en route to a breezy half-century that set the tone of RCB’s innings. After a brief delay due to a hailstorm, Kohli took the assault to the next level in the company of Cameron Green.

Death: Harshal controls after RCB onslaught

Phase score – 77/4 [RR: 15.40, 7x4s, 8x6s]

Kohli pushed his innings to the fifth gear in the final phase of the play. He took the attack to Sam Curran and Arshdeep before the latter’s slower one ended his knock eight short of a fabulous century. Dinesh Karthik and Green continued the onslaught before Harshal Patel bowled a tidy final over in which he scalped three wickets and conceded only three runs to ensure RCB didn’t breach the 250-run mark.

Punjab Kings

Powerplay: Bairstow, Rossouw power PBKS to strong start

Phase score – 75/2 [RR:12.50, 13x4s, 2x6s]

Punjab Kings were pegged back early with Prabhsimran Singh getting trapped leg before by Swapnil Singh in the first over. They could’ve had Rilee Roussow dismissed soon after but Mahipal Lomror put down a straightforward chance at backward square leg. The southpaw cashed in on that opportunity and took the attack to Mohammed Siraj in the fourth over, smashing the pacer for 18 runs. Soon after Bairstow also joined the party but was dismissed towards the end of the phase.

Middle-overs: PBKS stutter against spin

Phase score – 89/5 [RR:9.89, 7x4s, 5x6s]

Led by three strikes by the RCB spinners – Karn Sharma and Swapnil Singh – RCB kept denting PBKS’ progress even as their long list of hard hitters continued to keep up with the required rate. To add to it, a terrific diving throw from Kohli to run Shashank Singh out added to the misery of the hosts. Mohammed Siraj ended this phase by trapping Ashutosh Sharma leg-before wicket, leaving Sam Curran to score at more than 15 an over in the death in the company of the lower-order.

Death: PBKS dismantled

Phase score – 17/3 in 2 overs [RR: 8.50, 3x4s, 0x6s]

Lockie Ferguson knocked over Curran, the last possible threat to RCB’s total, three balls into the death overs. Siraj broke little sweat to clean up Punjab Kings’ tail, as PBKS lost their last three wickets in 12 deliveries to fold well short of the target.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bengaluru 241/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 92, Rajat Patidar 55; Harshal Patel 3-38, Vidwath Kaverappa 2-36) beat Punjab Kings 181 in 17 overs (Rilee Rossouw 61, Shashank Singh 37; Mohammed Siraj 3-37, Swapnil Singh 2-28) by 60 runs

What next?

RCB return home and play the first of their two home games against Delhi Capitals on May 12 (Sunday). A knocked-out PBKS head to Guwahati where they face Rajasthan Royals o May 15.

© Cricbuzz


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