On Wednesday, April 26, at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, KKR defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore thoroughly after beginning their campaign with two one-man displays (“W”s). The victory retained RCB in fifth place, while KKR moved up from eighth to seventh on the points chart, indicating something of a comeback for the visitors.
Rumble of Roy-al
Due to the recent purple cap holder bowling at you, it was a slow start, but Mohammed Siraj earned respect for his 13 runs off two powerplay overs. David Willey’s fourth over, though, was bowled by Jason Roy, who had grown fond of his England teammate, and was taken for 17 runs. With 25 runs to end the powerplay, Jason Roy had chosen his targets and was not required to assault the in-form bowlers. After an effortless flipped six, he played out an over from Hasaranga with a few scares and DRS calls. Giving Ahmed a powerplay over had not exactly paid off as Kohli had hoped. KKR was off to a flying start when Jason Roy took off and nearly reached a half-century in the powerplay.
Recovery stage for RCB following powerplay mishap
Following a terrible powerplay, RCB abruptly tightened things up. Vyshak first picked up Jagadeesan before knocking over an imposing-looking Jason Roy, bringing two new batsmen to the crease. The recovery was led by Nitish Rana and Venkatesh Iyer, who kept up a decent run rate to prepare for the death overs but the score remained below 9, thus they projected 180. Although the recovery had been managed, the acceleration didn’t appear for a concerningly long time, and with only two wickets lost and an agitated Andre Russell in the dugout, it appeared that KKR was losing their chance to take advantage of Jason Roy’s strong start. The basic minimum to defend at the Chinnaswamy has to be 200! Siraj off Vyshak and Harshal off Siraj (both of Nitish Rana), two dropped catches, didn’t help, but KKR’s chances of scoring 200 looked remote.
The Rinku-Wiese upsurge and the Rana inspiration
Even though they only lost two wickets, it seemed a touch dull when Rana and Iyer were having trouble with their timing. However, after being dropped twice, Rana launched an attack on the bowlers, dismissing Vyshak’s and Harshal’s respective 16th and 17th overs for 19 and 17, respectively. In the following over, a superb one by Hasaranga that only allowed three runs to be scored, both Rana and Iyer were eliminated. However, Rinku Singh and David Wiese delivered ferocious hits at the end to smash 15 runs off each of the last two overs, getting KKR to an even 200, and breaking the psychological barrier for the bowlers despite Russell’s wicket (yorked by Siraj).
Quite the RCB start
Beginning with a barrage of boundaries, RCB smacked the opening bowlers all over the pitch. With Virat Kohli slamming on-the-up cover drives and Faf du Plessis lofting Umesh for a straight six, it appeared as though they would win easily. However, a risky move by Nitish Rana to insert Suyash Sharma into the attack proved to be crucial. The last time RCB met KKR, they had trouble handling spin, and nothing seemed to have improved. Du Plessis and Shahbaz Ahmed were both defeated by the youthful leg-spinner shortly after. RCB lost three significant wickets in the powerplay even though the run rate was around 10 rpo after Chakravarthy dismissed Maxwell as well.
The Kohli Dream and its eventual failure
After the powerplay, RCB stormed back into the game thanks to a stand of 55 runs off of 34 balls between Kohli and Lomror. They were maintaining the scoring rate and had not recently lost wickets. However, they were damaged by Lomror’s wicket, and the subsequent loss of Kohli inflicted fear on the RCB team. It was the turning point because it became painfully obvious how dependent RCB was on its golden trifecta. When Suyash Prabhudesai and his partner Dinesh Karthik were forced to leave the game because of their uncertainty, the pressure of the required rate became apparent.
Now that RCB required 63 in five overs, it was up to Dinesh Karthik’s expertise to pull off a robbery. However, a string of wickets, including Karthik’s, meant that RCB had given in to the pressure of the scoreboard, and ultimately, KKR easily prevailed, handing the hosts a humiliating, momentum-breaking defeat.
What’s the future like for both teams?
On Saturday, April 29, KKR will take a flight back home to take on the Gujarat Titans, the team against whom Rinku Singh pulled off the now-famous robbery, hammering five sixes to capture an improbable victory. On Monday (May 1), RCB will now travel to Lucknow to take on the Lucknow Super Giants.