Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli has expressed his surprise over the way the clash against Kings XI Punjab ended. KXIP needed just 11 runs from the final three overs and with a well-set KL Rahul and Chris Gayle in the middle, it looked like the game would end in the 18th over. However, KXIP nearly made a mess of the chase before crossing the finishing line on the final delivery.
Batting first, Royal Challengers Bangalore finished on 171 for 6 in the stipulated 20 overs. Virat Kohli top-scored for his side, scoring 48 off 39. Openers Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch added 38 runs for the first before the former departed for 18.
Finch and skipper Virat Kohli added 24 more runs before M Ashwin sent back the Australian for 20. RCB then sprung a surprise by promoting the likes of Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube ahead of in-form AB de Villiers but the move did not yield the desired results.
The move to hold back AB de Villiers didn’t pay off either as he managed to score just 2 off 5 balls before being sent back by Mohammed Shami in the 18th over. Three balls later, Shami accounted for Kohli too as it looked like RCB would finish between 150 and 160. But Chris Morris played a fine cameo off 25 from just 8 balls to guide RCB to a 170-plus total. Isuru Udana also played a fine hand of 10 from 5 balls.
In reply, KXIP chased down the 171-run total on the very last ball of the match. Captain KL Rahul led from the front, scoring an unbeaten 61 while Chris Gayle, who was playing his first game of the season, scored 53.
Virat Kohli’s reaction:
Speaking at the end of the game, Virat Kohli said he was surprised to see the game went down to the wire. The RCB skipper also explained the rationale behind demoting de Villiers before stating that 171 was a decent total.
“It was quite surprising, because it went down to the wire. A bit of pressure can confuse you, it was a good performance by Kings XI in the end. We had a chat, it was a message about the left-hand, right-hand combination. Sometimes these decisions you take, don’t come off. But I think 170 was a decent score.
“That’s the idea, get your eye in and start hitting. But we were not able to put them under pressure. We take a lot of pride as a bowling side, but tonight was one of those nights, as it didn’t come off. A few positives from the game. There was no conversation between Yuzi (Chahal) and me to be honest. Things became interesting to be honest. They kind of let us come back in the game, because I think it should have ended by the 18th over,” he added.
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