Royal Challengers Bangalore has made a habit out of losing games in a very particularly dramatic fashion. Today, in their opening match against KKR at the Sheikh Zahid Stadium, they were looking to start the 2nd phase of the IPL brightly. After all, they were facing the down and out Kolkata who lost 5 of their 7 matches.
The Knight Riders, though, had other plans. The plan being relegating RCB to yet another humiliating low score. KKR ended up comfortable winners by nine wickets with 10 overs to spare.
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RCB had gone out to bat first, with the blue jersey to pay tribute to the health workers for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The batting collapse started from the 2nd over itself as captain Virat Kohli got dismissed by Pradesh Krishna as the ball hit the front of his pads. Kohli took a review but like most times, lost it. From then on, KKR did not let RCB breathe. Pace bowler Lockie Ferguson took the important wicket of the opener of Devdutt Padikkal and Harshal Patel, both batsmen were looking dangerous before being cut short. Andre Russell also performed great with the ball as he took the important wicket of Ab de Villiers with a peach of a delivery, going right through the block-hole. He also took Srikar Bharat and Mohammad Sudan’s wicket to end up with figures of 3 wickets for 9 runs in 3 overs. Varun Chakravarty was the pick of the bowlers as he bowled 4 overs for 13 runs and took 3 wickets. He almost had a hat-trick as he dismissed Glenn Maxwell and Wanindu Hasaranga off successive deliveries and then dismissed Sachin Baby. He also ran out Kyle Jamieson. RCB were dismissed for a low score of 92.
KKR were comfortable throughout the chase as openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer took their bowlers to the cleaners. Gill got out to Yuzvendhra Chahal at 48 but it was too little too late as the Knight Riders chased the target within 10 overs.
The man of the match has to be spinner Varun Chakravarty whose economical bowling and efficient wicket-taking led to his team winning the match pretty easily. For captain Kohli, he may want to forget his 200th match and move on to help his team establish a place in the playoffs.