IPL 9, Match 56 Review: Virat Kohli special powers RCB into the playoffs

IPL 9, Match 56 Review: Virat Kohli special powers RCB into the playoffs

Virat Kohli Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli RCB. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Yet another half-century from Virat Kohli saw the Royal Challengers Bangalore pip the Delhi Daredevils into the playoffs of the IPL 9. The tremendously competitive encounter played at the massive Raipur ground ensured that the Challengers coasted to an impressive 6-wicket win. The win witnesses the Challengers leapfrog the Knight Riders and the Sunrisers Hyderabad into the second spot on the table. This means that they will face off against the Gujarat Lions in the first playoff match in familiar condition in Bengaluru.

It was yet another rare toss that Virat Kohli won as he invited his former India teammate Zaheer Khan and co to have a bat first. Bowling first gave a clear lift to the Challengers as Stuart Binny was handed the new ball as has been the trend in the past few matches. Despite the plethora of bowlers getting to bowl, the wily southpaw Sreenath Aravind struck first when Rishabh Pant nicked one behind to KL Rahul.

The hero of the previous match Karun Nair joined Quinton de Kock early on in the innings. However, Virat Kohli’s masterstroke of deploying spin early on as Yuzvendra Chahal removed Nair cheaply for 11. Nair had been previously dropped by Aravind at fine leg. However, this time, he wasn’t as lucky as the RCB skipper himself completed a wonderful catch along the long-off boundary.

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Chahal removed Sanju Samson a few deliveries later when KL Rahul completed a catch from an unbelievable fine edge. Sam Billings, Pawan Negi and Carlos Brathwaite fell within the next few deliveries as the likes of Chahal and Chris Jordan were running riot and sending back the Delhi batsmen with monotonous regularity.

Quinton de Kock however, had weathered the storm of the RCB bowlers by smashing the ball around and surviving the onslaught by the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers. He had carried on his merry way, playing a lone hand and quickly stormed to a well-deserved half-century. However, frustration coupled with an unprecedented urgency to score quick runs saw de Kock dismissed by the irresistible Chahal for a well-made 60 off 52 deliveries.

De Kock’s compatriot and countryman Chris Morris made a futile attempt to up the ante of the innings. Morris played a few reverse sweeps as well as a few big hits as he made his way to an unbeaten 27 off just 18 deliveries. The Daredevils, however, managed a target of 138-8 in their 20 overs. Although it was a ‘moderate’ total, it was something for Zaheer Khan and his bowling bunch to defend in spite of the firepower at the disposal of the Royal Challengers.

Although the Challengers were playing in Raipur, the support for the Challengers was something else. Therefore, there were smiles all-round when the Raipur faithful saw Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle make their way into the middle to chase down 138.

How did the match pan out? – IPL 9, Match 56 Review: Virat Kohli special powers RCB into the playoffs

Although it was a frugal score to chase, the Daredevils drew first blood when Chris Gayle chopped on a teasing delivery from Chris Morris. In spite of giving away a few crucial runs, Zaheer Khan struck. And this time around, it was the important wicket of his countryman AB de Villiers. It took all the 37-year-old bones in Zaheer’s aging body to remove the dangerous AB de Villiers as he tossed one to Jayant Yadav at short cover. 19-2 and it was game on. However, KL Rahul and Kohli himself had other ideas.

Stats and records – IPL 9, Match 56: DD v RCB – Statistical Highlights

While Kohli played his conservative innings of knocking the ball around, KL Rahul was perhaps much more erratic. He slammed the ball to all parts and coasted to 38 off just 23 delivery. However, Rahul’s attempt to be cute with a delivery from Carlos Brathwaite saw him bowled by the towering West Indies all-rounder. Shane Watson too slammed a useful 14 runs including a six too ended when the 34-year old attempted one six too many. Stuart Binny came into the scheme of things ahead of Sachin Baby as the Challengers inches closer to a win. Kohli reached his well-deserved half-century and hit the winning runs, the knock that saw the Delhi Daredevils comprehensively beaten and ousted from the tournament.

Brief Scores:

Delhi Daredevils: 138/8 in 20 overs ( Q de Kock 60; Y Chahal 3/32)

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 139/4 in 18.1 overs ( V Kohli 53*; Brathwaite 1/18)

Man of the match: Virat Kohli