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    IPL 2018: Virat Kohli Leads Charge as RCB Thrash KXIP by 10 Wickets

    Cricketnext Staff | Updated: May 15, 2018, 7:11 AM IST
    IPL 2018: Virat Kohli Leads Charge as RCB Thrash KXIP by 10 Wickets

    Virat Kohli. (Image: AP)

    New Delhi: Speaking at the toss, Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli had replied to the question of this being a do-or-die game for the outfit in a very simple manner. He said that his team was looking to play some fearless cricket and that is exactly what his boys did as RCB thrashed Kings XI Punjab by 10 wickets to take home their fifth win of the season and stay alive in the tournament. The comprehensive win, with 12 overs to spare, means that their run-rate also gets a much-needed boost with just two knockout spots up for grabs.

    Chasing 89 to win the game at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, Kohli made his intentions very clear from the word go as he opened the innings with Parthiv Patel. And the captain took the attack to the KXIP bowlers from the beginning as Kohli looked in a hurry. He took 16 runs from the third over off the innings from Ankit Rajpoot and there was clearly no looking back after KXIP could only manage 88.

    And while Parthiv showed that he was looking to hit the boundaries in the powerplay, Kohli was more than happy to take the aerial route at every given opportunity as the score read 66/0 after the powerplay with RCB needing just 23 more runs in the remaining 14 overs with 10 wickets in the hand. In fact, Kohli and Parthiv were in such a hurry that KXIP managed to somehow squeeze in a strategic timeout at the end of the 7th over with the score reading 79/0 and RCB needing just 10 more runs to romp home. Kohli finished it off in style, hitting a free hit for a boundary as he remained unbeaten on 48 with Parthiv unbeaten on 40.

    Earlier, it was the worst possible display from the KXIP batsmen after Kohli won the toss and asked R Ashwin’s team to take first strike. Kohli made no bones about the fact that it would be extremely difficult to defend a total on this ground with the lush wicket looking good for a batting feast. And KXIP started on the exact same note as KL Rahul and Chris Gayle looked to deal in boundaries.

    It looked to be smooth sailing as the score read 36 in the 5th over with both Rahul and Gayle in fine flow. But that was the beginning of the end for KXIP as Umesh Yadav bowled one short and Rahul (21) ended up hitting that straight down the throat of Colin de Grandhomme and the fielder wasn’t dropping that one.

    After a couple of balls, Umesh sent back Universe Boss Gayle as he too perished trying to pull Umesh into the stands. Mohammed Siraj picked up a smart catch at deep square-leg as Gayle went for a 14-ball 18. Karun Nair (1) perished off the very next over, this time off Siraj’s bowling. But more importantly, it was a brilliant catch from Kohli at wide second slip. The fist pump after he finished the catch made it clear that the man meant business. From 36/0, the score suddenly read 41/3. It became 50/4 in the very next over as Yuzvendra Chahal flummoxed Marcus Stoinis (2) with a googly. The batsman had no clue as the ball dislodged the bails.

    Aaron Finch now looked at Mayank Agarwal to give him company in the middle with their backs to the wall. But with luck sadly deserting Mayank in this tournament, a fine nick down the leg side saw Parthiv Patel take a smart catch as Mayank (2) was sent back by Grandhomme. The score read 61/5. Finch now tried to steady the ship with Axar Patel, but unfortunately that too didn’t work for long as Finch’s attempt to clear the boundary saw him caught by Kohli at deep mid-wicket off Moeen Ali for 26.

    With skipper R Ashwin (0) running himself out of the very next ball, it was all but waiting for the inevitable as far as the Kings were concerned. And that was just the start of the run outs as two more followed suit and the KXIP innings finally folded up at 88 — the second lowest total in this edition of the Indian Premier League.


    First Published: May 15, 2018, 6:50 AM IST

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