The way Royal Challengers Bangalore batted in the first ten overs against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Friday, seeing them score 200 or more was looking like a far-fetched possibility. But in the end, the Royal Challengers exceeded all the expectations and ended up on 213 for 4. Skipper Virat Kohli starred with the bat, scoring 100 off 58 balls to guide his team to the mammoth total.
‘In reply, the Knight Riders were off to a disastrous start which eventually made the difference in the game as they lost a close contest. The two-time champions eventually fell short by just 10 runs. Knight Riders were reeling at 79 for 4 in 11.5 overs when Andre Russell joined Nitish Rana in the middle. The two then launched a stunning counterassault to nearly stun Royal Challengers. Russell scored 65 from just 25 balls while Rana remained unbeaten on 85.
But while Kohli is winning the plaudits for his ton, he feels it was his teammate Moeen Ali’s innings that helped him do well. And one just cannot disagree with Kohli. Moeen definitely played a very crucial role in ensuring Royal Challengers recover from a slow start and put up the big total. The England allrounder hammered 66 runs off just 28 balls, and provided the impetus to the innings which first allowed Kohli to bat slowly and then change gears later.
During his partnership with Kohli, Moeen scored 66 while the Royal Challengers skipper managed just 22 from 15. After Moeen’s departure, Kohli took the onus on himself. The right-hander scored an incredible 45 from 16 balls to power his side to over 200. Speaking after the game, Kohli said that it was Moeen who changed the game completely.
“It was difficult to put away the length balls away. Moeen changed the game completely and that allowed me to play my game. Moeen said I am going to go now and I asked him to go for it. He targeted the small boundaries and changed the game in those few overs,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The Royal Challengers now have two wins in nine games and will have to win all their remaining games to stand a chance of making it to the playoffs.