Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Russell, Chakravarthy set up KKR's big win over RCB. Andre Russell and Varun Chakravarthy led KKR's clinical performance with the ball
Andre Russell and Varun Chakravarthy led KKR's clinical performance with the ball
Royal Challengers Bangalore were let down by a forgettable batting performance to falter completely in their first match back in IPL 2021. Kohli expected the pitch to slow down with time but his batsmen struggled too, to find their way out of a middle-overs choke, and folded for just 92. In response, KKR flew with the opening stand between Shubman Gill and debutant Venkatesh Iyer, and finished a nine-wicket win in just the 10th over to jump up from seventh spot to fifth.
Didn't Virat Kohli win the toss?
He did, but his batsmen couldn't back that decision up. The procession started with him, when he played down the wrong line against Prasidh Krishna's inducker and took back the one review with him in just the second over. Srikar Bharat, playing in his first IPL game, had the chance to settle in while the field restrictions were still in place, but couldn't get going against Sunil Narine's unpredictable turn and Lockie Ferguson's pace. Devdutt Padikkal himself found it tough to play fluently through the line as the ball was doing a bit early on, and ended up nicking one behind to Dinesh Karthik off Ferguson. RCB, thus, limped to 41 for 2 in 6 overs.
41/2 in 6 overs doesn't sound too shabby in tough conditions. What happened next?
CSK had found a way out of early wreckage in Dubai against MI a day before, but RCB just couldn't escape the middle-overs choke. Russell found a bit of extra pace and bounce to surprise both Bharat and Glenn Maxwell. Narine particularly frustrated the Australian, who attempted several variations of his sweep and reverse-hits but connected with none. The humidity perhaps added to Maxwell's annoyance, as he seemed restless between overs. It didn't help RCB that Bharat too was tied down at the other end.
Russell ended his misery in the ninth over, before producing an incredible, angled-in leg stump yorker that was too good even for AB de Villiers to face first up. The South African was swept off his feet by the delivery before it pegged back his leg stump. RCB went from 41/2 in 6 overs to 54/4 in 10 overs, the fate of their side now in the hands of a struggling Maxwell.
Varun Chakravarthy ensured there was no such heroic plotline for the Australian. Maxwell, still looking for his big release moment, looked to target Chakravarthy but was thoroughly beaten by the flight and dip to get bowled, for a 17-ball 10. Debutant Wanindu Hasaranga was beaten on the inside edge on the first ball to get trapped leg before, leaving RCB six down in 12 overs. Sachin Baby became his third victim soon in a Chakravarthy spell of 3 for 13, involving 15 dot balls.
Such was the listlessness of RCB's batting that at one stage they went 54 deliveries without a boundary between 5.1 and 14.3. Ferguson and Russell returned to finish off the innings on just 92 – RCB's fifth lowest IPL total.
No Second-half twists?
KKR in fact found a new opening option in the tall left-hander Venkatesh Iyer, who made it to the team on the back of impressive hitting in the warm-up games for KKR. Iyer and Shubman Gill showed from early on that KKR were chasing that NRR bump that would take them from their lowly seventh spot up closer to the top-half. The onset of dew made matters worse for Kohli and his bowlers, and debutant Iyer even gave Kyle Jamieson the charge with a lot of ease. The pair hit eight fours and a six to take KKR to 56/0 in the PowerPlay, putting them within touching distance of a massive win.
Yuzvendra Chahal broke the stand when KKR were just 10 short of their target, and Andre Russell walked out to swiftly wrap up the chase. But he had to contend with the role of a happy spectator as Iyer smashed Chahal for three boundaries to finish unbeaten on 41 off 27 and take his side over the line.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 92 in 19 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 22; Varun Chakravarthy 3-13, Andre Russell 3-9) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders ( ) by wickets
What next for the teams?
RCB have three days to regain composure and then head North to Sharjah, where they take on CSK on Friday (September 24). KKR stay put in Abu Dhabi and have a two-day break before facing Mumbai Indians on Thursday (September 23).