RCB chased down the target of 150 with 7 wickets in hand and 17 balls to spare. It was the bowlers who set up the game for RCB after RR openers put up a brisk 77-run opening stand. However, then Sanju Samson’s side collapsed to 149/9; Yuzvendra Chahal, the Man of the Match, returned with 2/18, Shahbaz Ahmed picked 2 wickets in one over, while Harshal Patel, who now has 26 wickets in the tournament, snapped three scalps in the 20th over.
After losing their first two games in the UAE leg, RCB have now won their last two on the back of superb bowling performances. Virat Kohli waxed lyrical on his bowlers.
“We have come back strongly in two games back-to-back with the ball which is a great sign. In T20 cricket if you can hold nerve with the ball, it means you are heading in the right direction. We came back and dominated. 175 would have been competitive, it still was a very good wicket to bat on,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match ceremony.
“With the kind of bowling attack that we have, we need a couple of breakthroughs and things will open up. We knew if we held to our patience, we’ll get mistakes from the batsmen and that’s what happened but they were forced mistakes. Evin Lewis’s wicket was the game-changing moment. Garton did really well in his first game, he was composed enough to pitch the ball in the right area.
“We have gotten the rewards because we have been confident and fearless. That’s been the USP of our team in the last two games. Through the middle overs, our bowling has been amazing,” he added.
People are making contributions at the right time: Virat Kohli
With the bat, the RCB skipper has been pleased to see other players standing up at different points in the tournament. Devdutt Padikkal has continued his brilliant form from last year, while Glenn Maxwell has finally been consistent since 2014 in the IPL after years of struggle.
RCB have also found a stable batsman at number 3 in KS Bharat. Virat Kohli reckons things are “coming along nicely” for his team as they approach the end of the league stage.
“With the bat as well, we have been getting good opening starts which gives a lot of balance to the team. That’s been the focus with Dev and myself – to get good starts. Everything is coming along nicely and people are making contributions at the right time. We were blown away completely in game one, we took it as a positive. You need to be up with the pace of the tournament. We are getting into the groove at the right stage of the tournament,” the 32-year-old concluded.
RCB now have acquired 14 points in 11 matches and are close to sealing a playoff berth. They will next meet Punjab Kings on Sunday afternoon in Sharjah.