Kohli’s tonne surpasses Klaasen’s as RCB sail to a decisive victory

The Sunrisers Hyderabad’s 187-run mark was easily surpassed by the RCB openers on Thursday (May 18), maintaining the team’s postseason aspirations. The Bangalore franchise won the toss and requested that SRH bat first. The hosts gladly obliged and produced a respectable total of 186-5, supported by Heinrich Klaasen’s explosive hundred, by far their finest batter of the year. The SRH bowling staff, however, was completely stumped by the RCB openers’ brilliant effort as they cruised to victory by eight wickets.

The anti-flier SRH

Many batting teams have had great powerplay starts during the course of the tournament before blowing it in the middle innings. Today, though, Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi were held in check by a tight opening spell from Wayne Parnell and Mohammed Siraj. However, after they broke out against Parnell with a 16-run over to raise the run rate from under 3 rpo to almost 7 rpo, Michael Bracewell scalped both of them in his first over, making the SRH innings’ powerplay a failure.

Klaas all, no mercy

Heinrich Klaasen then entered the arena and started attacking right away. Klaasen once again saved the SRH team with a counterattacking innings against the RCB bowlers after launching a barrage of boundaries. He reached fifty off just 24 deliveries. But despite a strong finish from Harry Brook that included a few lusty blows, Markram’s supporting work ultimately cost SRH 20 balls, for which he only scored eighteen runs, undoing some of the good work done by Klaasen, who by the penultimate over had reached his hundred with a six at a strike-rate of over 200! SRH would have crossed 200 if only the supporting characters had performed their duties. A strike rate of just over 100 was used by SRH to score 76 runs in 69 balls, excluding Klaasen’s 51-ball 104 and extras.

RCB start a riot

In hindsight, Ball 1 signaled the end of the game. It appeared as though SRH’s innings were over after Virat Kohli intentionally struck the first two balls of the innings for boundaries. The SRH team was rendered confused in the defense of an admittedly challenging target as Kohli and orange-cap holder Faf du Plessis wreaked havoc, attacking the SRH bowlers indiscriminately, smashing over the line and constantly finding the holes. Unlike earlier innings, the mayhem continued this time around despite a stroke of luck: Nitish Reddy was denied his first IPL wicket because he overstepped, nullifying a superb catch by Mayank Dagar and giving Faf du Plessis a life.

Return of the chasemaster

Virat Kohli came back and this time, he’s not taking any half-measures to lead RCB to the championship. It didn’t quite have the asterisk on his score as it used to, but he was there anyway. The two openers persisted in testing the SRH defense, and Kohli ultimately reached his sixth IPL hundred, appropriately, with a six lofted over midwicket off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s delivery, tying Chris Gayle’s record for the most hundreds in IPL history. The very next ball Kohli faced was aimed at the same spot, but this time he failed to connect, giving his team a virtual victory.

The inevitable is preceded by a terrifying event

Although it wasn’t really a scare, the memories of earlier mistakes couldn’t erase the thought of the inescapable choke. With 10 needed off of 10 and two new batsmen at the crease, Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis had already fallen. Cricket had seen stranger things happen, possibly even in this IPL season. However, a trademark reverse swat from Maxwell off the final ball of Natarajan’s spell clinched the deal, leaving 3 to score off the final over. The partnership managed to grab those three runs in the first two balls of the final over, securing victory for RCB and keeping them firmly in this competition’s running.

With this victory, RCB temporarily move into the top four and gain sufficient control to play in the league stage’s final match as well (although against the best-ranked team in the competition). Despite Klaasen’s hundred, SRH are still at the bottom and appear to be strong candidates to take home the wooden spoon this year.

Next, what?

The “What next?” section of this season’s IPL is almost over. On Sunday, May 21, the final day of the league stage, both teams compete in their final games. At the Wankhede, the Sunrisers head to Mumbai to take on the Mumbai Indians, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore return home to take on the Gujarat Titans later that day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *