Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli was a relieved man after his side finally broke their 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) duck to record their first win of the tournament by beating Kings XI Punjab.
Kohli and South African ace AB de Villiers both registered half-centuries as RCB chased down the 174-run target with eights wickets and four balls to spare at Mohali.
It was the maiden win of the season for the Bengaluru franchise after six straight defeats and the relief on Kohli’s face was evident to see at the end of the game.
“Great feeling to get across the line,” the RCB and India skipper stated at the post-match ceremony.
“Couple of games we should have closed out before this. I am not saying we had chances in all games before this but there were a couple of games we should have closed out.
“After so many setbacks, the guys had desire – that’s one word we spoke about.”
A similar relief was expressed by de Villiers after his match-winning unbeaten knock of 59 (38).
“We’ve waited a long time for this one this season. It’s a small step in the right direction but a step nonetheless,” ABD said after being bestowed with the man-of-the-match award.
For Kings XI Punjab, it was their first defeat of the season at their home ground in Mohali. Expressing his disappointment at the end of the game, KXIP skipper Ravi Ashwin said, “We let ourselves down on the field, but they batted sensibly.”
“The crowd has been fantastic, and we have a few more games at home and hope we get the same kind of support. We need to string some wins and gain some momentum.”
With the win, RCB remain rooted to bottom spot in the league table with two points from seven games. Kings XI, meanwhile, remained in fifth spot with eight points from as many matches.
It proved seventh time lucky for Royal Challengers Bangalore as they held their nerve to beat Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets and record their first victory of their 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign.
Having tasted six straight defeats previously, RCB restricted the hosts to 173-4 in their 20 overs despite ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle playing an unbeaten knock of 99.
In reply, the visitors chased down the target with four balls to spare with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers both registering vital half-centuries. For KXIP, it was the second loss in a row in the competition and their third defeat in four games overall.
GAYLE MAKES MOST OF REPRIEVE IN ONE-MAN SHOW
Chris Gayle should have been walking back to the dressing room after a five-ball duck but the failure of RCB to review the lbw decision after Umesh Yadav struck the veteran opener on the pads proved highly costly.
Making the most of his reprieve in the first over of the game, Gayle single-handedly dragged KXIP towards a competitive total after the likes of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Sarfaraz Khan could only muster brief cameos.
The Jamaican had a quiet spell against the spinners in the middle overs but was otherwise his belligerent self as he plundered five sixes and 10 boundaries in a 64-ball innings which fetched 99 runs.
Gayle was unlucky to miss out on what would have been a sensational seventh IPL ton after he could only send the last delivery of the innings for a boundary.
CHAHAL AND MOEEN PUT THE BREAKS ON KXIP
Kings XI openers Gayle and Rahul had started in explosive fashion in the powerplay and were scoring at a rate of around 10 an over before Yuzvendra Chahal provided RCB with the big breakthrough.
After being smacked for a boundary by Rahul, the Bangalore leg-spinner struck back immediately by having the batsman stumped. The India wrist-spinner continued his excellent individual campaign with a second wicket moments later which came via a peach of a delivery.
Chahal squared Mayank Agarwal all ends up with a ripping leg-spinner before fellow spinner Moeen Ali sent back his England team-mate Sam Curran. Together, the two spinners vastly reduced Punjab’s rate of scoring in the middle overs with their combined eight overs leaking only 52 runs in the end.
KOHLI, ABD RISE TO THE OCCASION
The lack of runs in the middle-overs proved to be costly for the hosts with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers coming together to deliver RCB’s maiden win.
After a quick-fire cameo from Parthiv Patel at the top, it was the Kohli and ABD show at Mohali with the two star batsmen forging a 85-run stand for the second wicket to build a solid platform for victory.
It was Kohli who was the primary aggressor early on with the RCB skipper going on to register his 36th IPL fifty. The India man departed after a 53-ball 67 with still plenty left to do for the visitors in the death overs but De Villiers then seized control in sensational fashion with some desperately needed big hits in the company of Marcus Stoinis.
The South African ace remained unbeaten on a 38-ball 59, with his third half-century of the campaign sealing RCB’s first win.
Kings XI Punjab: 173-4
Chris Gayle: 99 all out (64)
Yuzvendra Chahal: 2-33
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 174-2
Virat Kohli: 67 (53)
AB de Villiers: 59 not out (38)
Rajasthan Royals breathed new life into their IPL 2019 campaign, edging Mumbai Indians by four wickets in the final over at the Wankhede Stadium for their second success of the season after seven games.
Mumbai posted a healthy 187-5 thanks to a breezy 81 off 52 from opener Quinton de Kock. But he was upstaged by his Rajasthan counterpart Jos Buttler who cracked 89 off just 43 balls with eight fours and seven sixes.
Rajasthan seemed to be sailing to a straightforward win with Buttler approaching a ton and his team needing 41 from 41. But the Englishman went for an expansive drive against leg-spinner Rahul Chahar – going for his seventh successive boundary – to be caught at long off and that opened the floodgates.
Terrific death bowling by Mumbai saw Jasprit Bumrah take out Sanju Samson in the 17th over and Krunal Pandya taking two in the next as the equation became a tight 14 from 12.
Steve Smith edged Bumrah behind the first ball of the penultimate over as Rajasthan were six down but keeper Ishan Kishan grassed an edge off Shreyas Gopal in the last ball of that over with the Royals needing six in the last. Gopal hit Hardik Pandya over the infield for a four in the third ball of the last over to secure victory.
Quinton takes charge
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma looked like making a statement after his return to the team. He was getting into top gear, having reached 47 off 31 balls, before he tried to force Rajasthan’s best bowler – Jofra Archer – down the ground to be caught by Buttler, who took three catches despite not wearing the gloves.
De Kock went into overdrive by hitting Liam Livingstone for two sixes in three balls in the eighth over. The opening stand had reached 96 in the 11th over, with opener De Kock well into his stride when Rohit departed.
Despite the solid base, Mumbai only reached 126-2 after 15 overs. They rely on heavy hitters Kieron Pollard and Hardik to get the big overs in. But that strategy failed as Pollard was snapped up by Archer for six off 12.
However, Pandya was still to come. De Kock departed for a well made 81 off 52 in the penultimate over after Buttler took a fine tumbling catch at long off.
Pandya – who had hit the third ball he had faced for a six – sent Archer over the midwicket fence with a helicopter flick and finished the innings with a four and a six off Jaydev Unadkat as Mumbai posted 187-5.
After taking three catches in the deep, Buttler must have felt Saturday was his day. He certainly batted like that, clearing the infield with ease. The game-changing moment came in the 13th over when Buttler went after player of the moment Alzarri Joseph – hitting him for 6, 4, 4, 4, 4, 6. That seemed the match right there but Mumbai didn’t give up.
Bumrah was once again unplayable at the death as he snared 2-23 from his four overs, taking Mumbai close to an improbable win. But Buttler had done enough damage in that one over to ensure that even the late implosion didn’t cost his team the game.