Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore got home in a stunning fashion against the Rajasthan Royals in Dubai as AB De Villiers’ assault proved too much for the opposition. Virat Kohli, who scored 43 in the run-chase of 178, got out at a crucial time. After the seven-wicket victory, the 31-year old was ecstatic how everything was coming together for them.
Rajasthan Royals strung their first 50-run stand as Robin Uthappa returned to the opening position along with Ben Stokes. Robin Uthappa struck 41 off 22 deliveries as Rajasthan Royals got off to a blistering start. Steve Smith joined hands with Jos Buttler after three quick wickets to build a partnership of 58. It was Smith’s third fifty of the tournament that kept the innings together as it propelled them to 178.
The Royal Challengers got off to a reasonably good start even as they lost Aaron Finch early. Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal built a 50-run stand; however, the Royals removed them in consecutive deliveries. Nevertheless, Smith’s debatable decision to give Jaydev Unadkat the second last over cost his side the game. Jaydev Unadkat gave away 25 runs in the 19th over, leaving Jofra Archer only ten to defend in the final over, which the Englishman was unable to.
“Looks we’re gonna be put under pressure but the guys have come back strongly” : Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli felt delighted by how the individuals have stepped up to gather 12 points. He also credited AB De Villiers for pulling off incredible run-chases, how he handles pressure no matter the bowler he is facing. Kohli stated that De Villiers keeps them massively in the game through his clean hitting under pressure and labelled the former South African skipper as the most impactful player in IPL. Kohli added that the bowlers have also responded well under pressure and felt relieved by the three days off they will get.
“The individuals are stepping up and we’ve been done that all through the tournament, which is why we have 12 points. Very happy right now because after this we get three days off. To be honest, you’re always tense in chase because you’re not sure how many balls AB is going to get. Credit to Gurkeerat as well, he stuck with AB, got that important boundary. It doesn’t matter who the bowler is, he does what he does. AB is always been someone who’s been ready to look at the situation and adapt his game accordingly. In my eyes he’s the most umpactful player in the IPL.
If he goes, the opposition know they have a slim chance and there’s a good reason for that. It’s purely because of the presence of someone like him that teams feel we are never out of the team. [Opening?] No our game pattern is very clear. Young Dev has batted beautifully, finchy has played some impact innings. We understand the dynamics and we’re sticking to our plans. The bowling has really stepped up this season. Looks we’re gonna be put under pressure but the guys have come back strongly. Morris has been brilliant, just that energy he brings. Saini, Washy and Isuru as well, the bowling has come together well,” Kohli told in the post-match presentation.