Royal Challengers Bangalore was blown away by a Sunil Narine-inspired Kolkata Knight Riders. Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, cruised to a thumping win against Delhi Daredevils.
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Umesh Yadav: I was backing myself to bowl quick at the stumps. They [Kohli and bowling coach Ashish Nehra] want me to bowl and attack the stumps, and not worry about the variations. This pitch was slow; Kolkata pitch was quick. I think I enjoyed Yuvraj Singh’s wicket. It came out exactly like how I wanted it.
Virat Kohli: First home game is crucial. Last year, we couldn’t get off to a start. Crowd has a lot of expectations. We knew new ball will come on nicely, and the [Punjab] batsmen hit some good shots. Umesh bowled well, getting three wickets in an over is a great feat. We just want our best bowlers to step up and get confident early on.
AB de Villiers: Really wanted to get over the line. Wanted to be not out in the end but feel sorry I put pressure on the lower-order batsmen. Chinnaswamy a really special place to play cricket, we get a lot of crowd support here.
Ravichandran Ashwin: I am really proud of the way the boys fought. Always thought we had our backs against the wall because we were about 20-30 runs short. But we still fought hard and I am proud of the guys. [RCB’s top-order] is not that intimidating to be honest, pressure is on them due to their reputations. I thought our boys did well by putting in a good effort.
It was an AB de Villiers special today, continuing from where he left against Australia at home. After Kohli left, he took on himself to take his side to the target. There were a few hiccups along the way for Bangalore, but nonetheless, their bowlers were upto the task and did a fine job to restrict Punjab for 155. Especially with KL Rahul running away with it in the powerplay overs. Lots of encouraging signs for Ashwin but losing wickets in clumps is something that his side need to address. Yet another enthralling IPL tie.
159/6 in 19.3 Overs RCB WIN BY 4 WICKETS! Teenagers’ day out at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Mohit Sharma drifted the first delivery slightly short and with an upper cut, Washington Sundar brings the scores level with a boundary – the third man was inside the circle. A delivery later, Sundar creams the ball through covers for another boundary, WINNING RUNS.
RCB 151/6 in 19 Overs Bangalore need five from the last over. What an over by Tye. That was outstanding under pressure, also accounting for the wicket of De Villiers.
RCB 150/6 in 18.4 Overs OUT! Well, there goes another one as Mandeep continue to put pressure on the fielders by going for doubles. Mayank Dagar at deep-square whips in a solid throw and Rahul takes the bails off in a flash. Mandeep is short of his ground. This is tense.
Mandeep Singh run out 21 (18)
RCB 146/5 in 18.1 Overs OUT! Oh boy, Is there a late twist in the tale? AB fell for the trap set by Punjab and cut Tye straight to the gleeful hands of deep cover. Karun Nair pockets another catch. The South African maverick walks off to chants of “ABD!” from the partisan Chinnaswamy crowd.
AB de Villiers c Karun Nair b Tye 57 (40)
RCB 146/4 in 18 Overs SIX! AB de Villiers brings up his half-century with another maximum. He picked up Mohit Sharma’s slow delivery early and gave it an old-fashioned whack. No spotting that one as Bangalore are on their way to a win at the moment. Twelve from the over, Bangalore need 10 from the last two overs.
RCB 134/4 in 17 Overs BIG OVER FOR BANGALORE! Exactly what most doctors would have ordered for the home side. Mujeeb goes slightly short and De Villiers hammers him for back-to-back sixes, one back over the bowler’s head and another over deep mid-wicket to alter the tide of the contest. 19 came from the over as Mandeep also earned a boundary.
RCB 115/4 in 16 Overs The pressure is now back on Bangalore as the run flow continues to be in check. Punjab’s medium pacers have been mixing it up and their lengths have been spot on. Just 28 runs have been taken from the last five overs with only one boundary coming off it. 41 needed from the last four as we go for the break. It’s down to De Villiers to steer his side home.
RCB 100/4 in 14 Overs The required run-rate has steadily crept up as Mandeep Singh endures a scratchy start. De Villiers has also gone quiet. Another wicket will heap pressure on the home side. Even the crowd has gone uncharacteristically quiet.
OUT! RCB 87/4 in 11.3 Overs Ashwin is on fire! Poor shot from Sarfaraz, who would have noticed the first slip being stationed, we are assuming. The Mumbai batsman dabs the ball straight to the waiting palms of Karun Nair. Punjab are sensing something.
Sarfaraz Khan c Karun b Ashwin 0(1)
OUT! RCB 87/3 in 11.2 Overs Ashwin gets his man! He decides to end his spell and reaps the rewards for it. Was it the leg-spinner, the newest trick in his arsenal? De Kock skips out but sees his off-stump dislodged. Can Punjab stage a fightback?
Q De Kock b Ashwin 45 (32)
RCB 87/2 in 11 Overs The fifty partnership comes up between De Kock and De Villiers. De Kock continues to swing it like at golfer at the Masters and the boundaries keep on coming square of the wicket. He nearly threw his wicket away, though, skying one. Luckily, the ball fell in no-man’s land despite three fielders going for it.
RCB 79/2 in 10 Overs NO STOPPING DE KOCK! Ashwin is under the pump as De Kock steps out and deposits the ball over the sightscreen for a maximum. He doesn’t stop there, playing a fine sweep shot to the fine-leg fence for a four. The runs flowing thick and fast from the South Africans, who have taken the game from the scruff of its neck at this stage.
RCB 64/2 in 8 Overs SOUTH AFRICAN SPECIAL! Mohit Sharma is introduced into the attack and he is taken to the cleaners. De Villiers pulls him for a flat six over deep mid-wicket, first delivery. De Kock continues to strike the ball well, playing yet another classy flick from outside off. ABD ends the over with a ferocious drive through covers for another four. There is very little margin of error with these two, 16 from the over.
RCB 48/2 in 7 Overs De Kock is unfazed and continues to play his shots with elan. He took on Mujeeb and thumped him over mid-on for a boundary. AB de Villiers has made a sedate start to his innings. One more wicket will put Punjab in control.
OUT! RCB 33/2 in 4.5 Overs WHAT A BALL! Kohli is beaten all ends up in the turn. That was Murali-esque from Mujeeb. The ball pitched on off and the came back in by a mile and clipped middle and leg. The Chinnaswamy is stunned in silence. Breathtaking from the 17-year-old.
V Kohli b Mujeeb 21 (16)
RCB 21/1 in 3 Overs Punjab’s joy was short lived as Kohli and De Kock have got a couple of boundaries each to get things up and running for their side. Ashwin has operated with spin in each of the three overs.
RCB 1/1 in 0.2 Overs HUGE BLOW! Axar Patel opens the bowling and Brendon McCullum is out first over. He plays a full-blooded cut shot and its straight to Mujeeb at point. Game on!
B McCullum c Mujeeb b Axar Patel 0 (1)
OUT! KXIP all out for 155 in 19.2 Overs Mujeeb is the last man out trying to pull Woakes. He gets a top edge, the ball doesn’t travel far and Sarfaraz at gully runs in and completes the catch. High-fies all round in the Bangalore camp. Woakes gets two.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman c Sarfaraz Khan b Woakes 0 (2)
OUT! KXIP 153/9 in 18.4 Overs Ashwin departs after a fine cameo. He had to go for the big runs and Chahal outwits him with a delivery wide outside the off-stump, getting a hint of turn as well. De Kock earns another stumping to his name. The Punjab skipper had carted Chahal for a six back over his head a delivery ago.
R Ashwin st De Kock b Chahal 33 (21)
OUT! KXIP 142/8 in 17.5 Overs Another one goes. Tye tries to clear the ground but Kohli at long-on makes absolutely no mistake. Woakes gets his first. Meanwhile, Ashwin is displaying a batting masterclass. Yes, that’s how gorgeous some of his shots have been. He is helpless, though, with wickets falling in clumps.
A Tye c Kohli b Woakes 7 (7)
KXIP 135/7 in 17 Overs What a fine finish for Umesh Yadav, whose figures read 4-0-23-3. Ashwin is anchoring the ship for Punjab. Can they get to 160? They need a couple of big overs here.
OUT! KXIP 122/7 in 15 Overs Khejroliya gets his second and he traps Axar Patel plumb in front. Punjab take a review but there was absolutely no doubt to the naked eye that the ball was crashing onto middle and leg. The replays show exactly that. Another one departs. It was a waste of a review.
A Patel lbw b Khejroliya 2 (3)
OUT! KXIP 110/6 in 13.4 Overs Stoinis lived by the sword and perished by it. He steps out, misses, and Quinton de Kock breaks the stumps. The Australian had just smashed a six from the previous ball. Bangalore are cruising.
M Stoinis st De Kock b Washington Sundar 11 (9)
OUT! KXIP 102/5 in 13 Overs Left-armer Khejroliya opens his account by castling the dangerous Karun Nair. The home side are firmly in control after putting the brakes on the run-rate. Everything working for Virat Kohli at the moment.
K Nair b Khejroliya 29 (26)
OUT! KXIP 94/4 in 11.1 Overs Washington slips in a quicker one and Rahul mistimes it while going for the long hop. The opener gets a top edge and it’s a simple take for the short third-man fielder. Yet another fine knock from Rahul. There is little doubt that he is a world-class T20 batsman.
KL Rahul c Sarfaraz Khan b Washington Sundar 47 (30)
KXIP 84/3 in 10 Overs Washington Sundar is brought on to keep the run-flow in check and he succeeds. Tidy start to his first over, just conceding five from it. Rahul is approaching another half-century and this partnership may start to worry Virat Kohli.
KXIP 71/3 in 8 Overs After a lull, Punjab are back among the runs. Karun Nair played a gorgeous ramp shot off Woakes for a boundary. Chahal dropped slightly short to Rahul and was hammered for a six over the deep square-leg fence. Punjab picked up 21 from the last two overs and are steadily wrestling back the momentum that they lost a few overs ago.
KXIP 50/3 in 6 Overs Bangalore have crossed the 50-run mark but the momentum has certainly shifted. Even Rahul has dropped anchor. Yadav was on target during his third over as well, conceding just two runs from it. Top stuff from the pacer, consistently varying his pace and keeping the batsmen guessing.
OUT! KXIP 36/3 in 4 Overs What a comeback! That’s three wickets in an over and the Chinnaswamy is buzzing. Yuvraj Singh is cleaned up through the gate and sees his middle stump shattered. He was nearly caught at deep-square earlier. Pace and accuracy at its best.
Yuvraj Singh b U Yadav 4 (4)
OUT! KXIP 32/2 in 3.2 Overs The newly-married Aaron Finch makes the long walk back for a golden duck after the ball thuds into his pad, slightly short of a length. The review is taken immediately after the umpire raises the finger. Bangalore are back in the game, and how!
A Finch lbw b U Yadav 0 (1)
OUT! KXIP 32/1 in 3.1 Overs What a catch from De Kock, throwing in a full-length dive to his right after Agarwal gets a thick edge. Umesh Yadav is delighted and Bangalore draw first blood.
M Agarwal c De Kock b U Yadav 15 (11)
KXIP 32/0 in 3 Overs Close chance, Agarwal nearly skies the ball to Sarfaraz at fine-leg. The Mumbai youngster puts in a dive but can’t get close to the ball. Meanwhile, The boundaries keep on coming as the packed crowd is trying it’s best to keep the spirits up for the team they support. Agarwal is dealing in fours. He already has three to his name and Kohli is ringing in the bowling changes.
In Karun Nair, Mayank and Rahul, KXIP have three Karnataka players.
KXIP 16/0 in 1 Over SIXES GALORE! Rahul continues from where he left at Mohali. Woakes strays slightly wide and Rahul punches the ball over the cover boundary for a maximum. He then goes big on the leg side, effortlessly rolling his wrists and the ball goes to the second tier. The over ends with Rahul tucking the ball from his hips, it beats the short fine-leg fielder and it’s a four. What a start for Punjab!
KXIP: Finch, Rahul, Agarwal, Singh, Karun Nair, Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ashwin, Tye, Sharma, Mujeeb Rahman
RCB: McCullum, De Kock, Kohli, De Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Khejroliya, Chahal
Toss: Virat Kohli has opted to field first. There are no changes for RCB while KXIP have Aaron Finch comes in place of David Miller. Kohli says the conditions are back to normal. Ashwin says his side have the bowling ammunition to hurt his opponents.
Royal Challengers Bangalore are hoping to get their campaign up and running after an opening game defeat when they lock horns with Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. RCB finished second best in a cliffhanger to Kolkata Knight Riders after Sunil Narine snatched victory with a 17-ball fifty at the Eden Gardens.
There is a buzz around the Bangalore fans this season as they feel there is a better balance in their ranks this season. The encouraging big for Bangalore is that Brendon McCullum and AB de Villiers were in fine form against Kolkata. They looked poised to touch 200 but a Nitish Rana double dented their momentum. McCullum recently completed 9,000 T20I runs.
Skipper Virat Kohli, surprisingly, looked scratchy, scoring 31 off 33 balls. All eyes are on Chris Gayle and there are bound to mixed emotions among the Bangalore fans and the Jamaican, who had a memorable tenure with the three-time finalists. KL Rahul also makes a return to his old side. His sizzling 14-ball half-century against Delhi Daredevils was a sight to behold.