Kings XI Punjab defeated Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore by 8 wickets but today the game was between Punjab battling their inner battles. KXIP and thriller encounter are a different story. The game was completely in their control, but still this franchise has different fantasy of taking the game till the last ball. While 2 runs were needed of the last over, KXIP won the game in the last ball by hitting a six.
KXIP fans and the franchise should thank Nicolas Pooran for keeping the hopes alive by hitting the last ball of Yuzvendra Chahal for a six. This match proved why the game of cricket is so much crual. It seemed that KXIP have crumbled under pressure and couldn’t even make 2 runs in the last over. However credit should go to Yuzvendra Chahal, his last over will be one of the key highlight of this season. Two set batsman and right arm leg spinner bowling the last over when 2 runs are needed, only Yuzi Chahal could have made it possible but luck was not in his side.
However KXIP deserved this victory, today we witnessed Gayle Storm and KL Rahul’s magic in Sharjah. The Universe Boss proved when he is the middle then the balls have no right to stay inside the stadium. Captain KL Rahul played an exceptional knock and stayed right till the end, but now it’s high time Rahul starts finishing game. The pressure on Rahul’s face was clearly visible in the last over even though 2 runs were needed.
KXIP have now registered their second win of this season, but there are some big questions on Virat Kohli’s captaincy. What was the thought of sending AB De Villiers at number, this is what the nation really wants to know. Sending AB at number 6 backfired the team, however in the last over Morris compensated the loss.
Virat Kohli’s rotation of bowlers have also been questionable in today’s match. In today’s match Yuzvendra Chahal only bowled 3 overs and in those 3 he took Mayank’s wicket. The idea of saving Chahal’a over is not understandable. The game was already won by Punjab in the 18th over but they themselves made it difficult, so why not use Chahal at that time when Gayle was trying to settle down. This loss will not affect the team much, but doing something out of the box or extraordinary can sometimes cost a tournament. RCB will be facing Rajasthan Royals in their next game and fans are hoping that the players will make a strong comeback.
Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first as he believed that this was a slow paced wicket which will make it difficult for batsman to play their shots in the later half of the game.
Young in form Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch opened the innings for RCB, however to everyone’s surprise KXIP came on the ground with a new set to strategies. Using Maxwell in the first over was a tentative move seeing a left handed batsman. Both the openers got a decent start but this time the luck was not on Devdutt’s side.
Devdutt Padikkal gave an easy catch to Nicolas Pooran as the ball came slow into the bat. Soon after the departure of Padikkal, Aaron Finch also couldn’t stay in the middle for long. But then came the biggest surprise instead of sending RCB’s biggest match winner AB De Villiers, the management and captain went with Washington Sundar at number 4.
Sending Sundar before ABD created pressure on both the batsman (Virat Kohli & Washington Sundar). After Finch’s dismissal RCB hit only one boundary in the next four over. In order to increase the run rate, Washington Sundar took charge and gave his wicket to Murgan Ashwin. In the next five overs Shivam Dube and King Kohli tried to build a steady partnership, but even after hitting 2 sixes Dube was looking a bit out of touch.
In the next over Chris Jordan got his first wicket this season. A fine short ball sended Shivam Dube back to the dressing room. Just when Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers were setting up the stage, Mohammad Shami showed his greatness. In a single over Shami took the wicket of Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers and forced RCB to go on a backfoot.
However it’s not how you begin, what matters is how you finish. Mohammad Shami’s 20th over helped RCB to attain a defendable score. The credit should go to Chris Morris, the South African all rounder completely destroyed Shami in the last over. With the help of three sixes, one four, and 1 double RCB got to a respectable score of 171 runs at the end of 20th over.
KL Rahul and Mayank Aggarwal went onto a firing start. However there was a bit of surprise of not sending Chris Gayle as the opener. Seeing Mayank and Rahul’s form and communication the management and thought of going with these two as they can also take quick singles and put pressure on the fielders. The idea was pretty clear, Mayank Aggarwal would take charge and KL Rahul will anchor the play.
Mayank Aggarwal quick 45 runs in 25 balls helped KXIP to get a good start. But in the seventh over Yuzvendra Chahal’s flighted delivery dismissed in form Mayank Aggarwal. Then arrived Universe Boss Chris Gayle. In the first 2 overs Gayle seemed completely out of touch, but once he settled down it’s a nightmare for the bowlers.
This is where Virat Kohli missed the trick. At a time when Gayle arrived in the middle, the captain should have continued with Yuzi Chahal and Navdeep Saini. If the bowler could have taken Gayle’s wicket during the start of his innings, RCB would have been in the top of the game.
Just after few overs, Gayle started hitting the balls of Siraj and Sundar out of the park. Chris Gayle and KL Rahul’s 93 runs partnership dominated the play. But it’s KXIP and how can this team win an easy game. 2 runs were needed of last over, and KXIP crumbled under pressure. Yuzvendra Chahal bowled fearlessly and gave a chance to RCB, but it was Nicolas Pooran who finally took KXIP across the finishing line in the last ball.