• IPL 2018: Match 48, Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – Expectation vs Reality

    It was all one-way traffic after the openers of the hosts were removed.

    AB de Villiers
    AB de Villiers(Photo Source: Twitter)

    The loss of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has opened up the points table nicely and suddenly a couple of spots are up for grabs in the top four now. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have arrived in Indore for their next encounter and must be feeling confident of getting one more victory under their belt. The hosts though have lost their way completely post their seven-day break and are now searching for the correct combination somehow.

    While there is still no danger for the R Ashwin and his men as they are sitting pretty at the third position in the points table, their opposition can least afford to lose as they will be knocked out of the tournament. Virat Kohli though will be upbeat for this encounter as they have won their recent encounter in Delhi and also had thumped Punjab when these two teams last met at the Chinnaswamy Stadium earlier this season. But Punjab is a dangerous side and if their openers get going, it will be tough for them to stop.

    Gayle to take the revenge

    Chris Gayle has lost his sheen completely after playing a couple of match-winning knocks. The teams have figured out the way to keep him quiet and then have dismissed him with a short delivery. But the striking thing here is that he didn’t play when the two teams met previously. He will be eager to hit the straps against his old franchise who according to him were going to retain him in the auction earlier this year. Gayle has a point to prove here for sure and expect him to go bonkers against the bowlers of Bangalore who flounder under pressure.

    It is also interesting that Punjab team management has not dropped after a string of low scores and has backed him to do well. Even they know that the Universe Boss can win them the game single-handedly once he gets going. Having said that, the time has come for him to deliver as well with Punjab’s fortunes in flux after the last couple of losses.

    Rampant AB de Villiers to light up Indore

    AB de Villiers has scored 4 half-centuries in this season so far and RCB has won all those matches. The formula is clear for the visitors, the Superman from South Africa to play a trailblazing knock and the team will notch up its fifth victory. However, he will also need the support from his teammates as he himself admitted the other night that he wasn’t middling the ball at the start and it was Virat Kohli‘s batting which helped him to settle. He will need someone to stitch a partnership with him and then take the attack to the bowling after getting his eye in.

    Everyone knows the way he tears apart the bowlers by shuffling around his crease and his assault on Delhi Daredevils (DD) twice this season is the best example. He has scored 358 runs so far in 9 outings this year and expect the tally to go past 400 comfortably in this game. The bowlers of Punjab might have to brace up for yet another challenge of keeping this batsman quiet else they will have to chase the leather yet again.

    Virat-Kohli-and-AB-de-Villiers-of-RCB-IPL

    Here’s the reality right after the match:

    Umesh wrecks havoc

    Umesh Yadav wrecked havoc with his spell in the first innings as he broke the back of Punjab by scalping the wickets of KL Rahul and Chris Gayle in the same over. There was no stopping RCB then and the batsmen of the hosts just surrendered meekly. They were skittled out for 88 in the 16th over itself and the middle-order crumbled haplessly once again with the tail-enders summing up their night with three run-outs. The fielding of the visitors was top-notch who were excellent on the field.

    Kohli finishes it off in style

    The chase was never going to be an issue for RCB as Virat Kohli promoted himself to open the innings along with Parthiv Patel and won the game in the ninth over itself. He just blazed away in spanking fashion against the bowling attack of the hosts who had nothing to defend literally. Parthiv also enjoyed his outing and slammed the ball wonderfully with confidence. The net run-rate of RCB has improved dramatically as Punjab has now slipped to 5th position for the first time.

    Keep following CricTracker for more news and updates.