IPL 2018: Match 8, RCB vs KXIP, Review- RCB open their account edging spirited Kings

IPL 2018: Match 8, RCB vs KXIP, Review- RCB open their account edging spirited Kings

Royal Challengers Bangalore managed to hold their nerves in the humdinger in Bangalore.

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore team celebrates a wicket. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Prior to the start of the contest between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), the burning issue was whether Christopher Henry Gayle would take the field for Bangalore Punjab or not. However, Ravichandran Ashwin quashed all doubts when Aaron Finch was announced as the replacement of David Miller in the lineup.

The match turned out to be yet another cracker-jack of a contest as the audience was kept at the edge of their seats till the very last over. Punjab stumbled while batting and never got going after an impressive start. RCB during their run-chase lost wickets at crunch moments of a game, but they somehow managed to hold their nerves and registered their maiden victory by four wickets

The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore favoured the bowlers, which backfired for the hosts last time around as they finished as the cellar dweller of the season. On this occasion, the pitch was structured back to the nature that it is known for. Hence, Virat Kohli didn’t have any second thoughts while electing to chase on what seemed like a batting paradise.

Punjab capitulate after Rahul-Agarwal exhibition

KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal opened for the Kings and bludgeoned away. They peppered the boundaries with sheer ease as the bowlers tried haplessly for their initial breakthrough. Rahul started from where he left against the Delhi Daredevils and effortlessly cleared the ropes. The game turned on its head when Umesh Yadav unleashed mayhem in the fourth over.

The pacer struck first blood when Agarwal was dismissed courtesy of a stupendous take by Quinton de Kock behind the wickets. Aaron Finch was cleaned up on the next ball which was followed up by another peach of a delivery to get rid of Yuvraj Singh. From a position of dominance, Punjab found themselves in all sorts of trouble having been reduced from 32/0 to 36/3 in a space of five balls.

The onus then rested with Rahul and Karun Nair to shepherd the derailed Punjab innings. The duo hung around for quite a while and stitched together a stand of 58 runs off 43 balls, which brought the visitors back on track. However, Sundar induced a false stroke from Rahul and Nair followed suit in the next over, which surrendered whatever advantage they had gained with the partnership.

Punjab capsized thereafter and were shot out for 155 runs with four balls to spare. Ashwin flung his bat around and added some precious runs, but Punjab fell way short of the score they looked likely to achieve when Rahul and Agarwal were taking the bowling apart. Umesh was the pick of the RCB bowlers while Chris Woakes, Kulwant Khejroliya and Sundar chipped in with a couple of scalps each.

Irfan feels KL Rahul bossed RCB bowlers in 1st innings

The Challengers stuttered but romp home

Tracing the target down, initially looked like a stroll in the park, bearing in mind the nature of the wicket and the ferocity of the RCB line-up. On the contrary Kings XI Punjab were required to make early inroads into the Challengers’ innings. Axar Patel drew first blood as Brendon McCullum was safely pouched by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Virat Kohli played some strokes to kick-start RCBs surge toward the target.

The home team was struck with a body blow when Mujeeb comprehensively bamboozled Kohli and castled him. AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock took charge then and the South African duo churned out a steady partnership of 54 runs off 39 balls. De Kock was attacking wherein de Villiers curbed his natural instincts and put his head down to guide the team to victory.

Ashwin showed why he is regarded as one of the prime weapons in Indian cricket as de Kock and Sarfaraz Khan succumbed one after the another to bring the game back into the balance. After the 15th over, RCB needed 47 runs off five overs and the game was well and truly poised for an exciting finish. Meanwhile, Mandeep Singh, who played a breezy knock against KKR, was required to deliver the goods.

RCB required 41 runs in the last 24 balls, which seemed daunting, but de Villiers spanked 19 runs off Mujeeb in the 17th over, which turned the game in favour of the home team. Andrew Tye pinned the Proteas batsman to give a breather to the Kings. In the last over, the Challengers had to get five runs which were accomplished by Washington Sundar with three balls to spare.

Brief Scores

Kings XI Punjab: 155 all out in 19.2 overs; KL Rahul 47, Ravichandran Ashwin 31; Umesh Yadav 3/23, Washington Sundar 2/22

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 159/6 in 19.3 overs AB de Villiers 57, Quinton de Kock 45; Ravichandran Ashwin 2/30, Axar Patel 1/25

Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets

Player of the Match: Umesh Yadav