Home INDIA ‘King’ Beats Kings: Virat Kohli’s 77 Carries RCB To Four-Wicket Victory Over PBKS | Cricket News

‘King’ Beats Kings: Virat Kohli’s 77 Carries RCB To Four-Wicket Victory Over PBKS | Cricket News

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'King' Beats Kings: Virat Kohli's 77 Carries RCB To Four-Wicket Victory Over PBKS | Cricket News

Virat Kohli produced a quality half-century on a slightly gummy pitch that took the holiday crowd on a joyride and Royal Challengers Bengaluru to a four-wicket win over Punjab Kings in an IPL match on Monday. The 177 point goal wasn’t terribly difficult, but had to be carefully scaled back due to the nature of the card game. Kohli (77, 49b, 11×4, 2×6) executed it almost perfectly as RCB made 178 for six with four balls to spare to register their first win of this IPL.

The Royal Challengers needed 47 off 24 balls from then on. Dinesh Karthik (28 not out off 10 balls) and ‘Impact Player’ Mahipal Lomror (17 not out, 8 balls) carried them down the rope with some sensible cricket. Karthik team’s designated finisher showed his ability to seamlessly switch from mic to willow as he bowled over Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh with minimal effort to finish it off in style.

Kohli’s innings was not a flawless effort as he was reprieved on the very first ball at nil and then when he was on 33, and both times pacer Sam Curran was the aggrieved party.

But when Kohli hits such a lofty area, they are temporary distractions – for him and for the fans.

He showed that in no small measure, rattling Curran with three more fours after that first drop as 16 runs flowed in the opening chase.

There were also his money shots: covers, swats, lofts over extra cover as Kohli dismantled the King’s attack all on his own.

But one shot stood out from the rest for its sheer timing and execution. Rabada, who was otherwise excellent for a figure of 2/23, bowled one slightly short, and Kohli danced down to magnificently flay the offering over the covers for a four.

Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar’s inside-out maximum over also has the touch of Kohli’s brilliance.

Those shorts also showed Kohli’s class on an insipid card game where other RCB batters like Cameron Green and Glenn Maxwell struggled to make a move against Rabada and the very impressive spinner Harpreet Brar (2/13).

It was reflected in the fact that the highest partnership in RCB innings was a 43-run association between Kohli and Rajat Patidar (18, 18b) for the third wicket.

But Kohli’s only odyssey ended when his strike to Harshal Patel’s slower ball at off-stump failed to generate enough power and distance to evade Brar at deep third man.

Earlier, captain Shikhar Dhawan’s pragmatism was the foundation on which Punjab Kings built their 176 for six.

Dhawan (45, 37b), Jitesh Sharma (27, 20b) and Prabhsimran Singh (25, 17b) were the key contributors for the Kings after RCB opted to bowl first.

For the hosts, Mohammed Siraj and Maxwell took two wickets each.

The Kings got off to a shaky start with Jonny Bairstow’s early departure as his forays on these shores, dating back to last year’s World Cup, have now become more arid than the Indian Summer.

But from 17 for one, the visitors found some runs through Dhawan and Prabhsimran who tackled the pitch and the RCB bowlers with aplomb, milking 55 runs from 38 balls.

Dhawan was not exactly smooth during his stay, but showed enough grit to capitalize on the loose deliveries, such as a length ball on the off-stump of left-arm spinner Mayank Dagar, which he lifted at long-on for a six.

In fact, the RCB bowlers, especially the impressive left-arm seamer Yash Dayal (1/23), did well to tie him down with deliveries that shot into him from just under good length.

Prabhsimran also gave vent to his aggressive instincts at times, and the most telling piece was his flicked six off Green that sailed for a maximum of 90 yards over mid-wicket.

But just as the alliance was blossoming, Prabhsimran Maxwell tried to pull back but a weak top edge was caught by stump Anuj Rawat.

But the Punjab side suffered a bigger blow as soon as Dhawan stepped out.

The left-hander’s attempt to hoist Maxwell out of the ground ended long in Kohli’s hands as the Kings slipped to 98 for four in 12.1 overs.

The Kings needed a few more runs on the board to provide the home team with a meaningful challenge.

They found those of Jitesh, who hammered Dagar two sixes in a row, and Curran, who added 52 runs for the fifth wicket off 34 balls.

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