Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore prevailed by one run against the Delhi Capitals in the 22nd match of IPL in Ahmedabad as knocks from Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer went in vain. AB de Villiers played a blinder of an inning to carry the Royal Challengers to 170 as they dictated the terms from there. Virat Kohli hailed the effort of his men and at the same time, felt lucky enough that the sandstorm had prevented the dew from coming.
Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal perished in consecutive deliveries after an assured start. Delhi Capitals’ spinner Amit Mishra got rid of Glenn Maxwell, who smashed two sixes and threatened to play another swashbuckling knock. AB de Villiers added 54 runs with Rajat Patidar, who played a promising knock after being asked to bat at number three. De Villiers stayed till the end and took Marcus Stoinis for 23 runs that included three out of his five sixes.
Royal Challengers Bangalore struck two bloody blows in the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Steve Smith, dismissing them cheaply. Prithvi Shaw also departed after a brief stay. Rishabh Pant survived an LBW shout in the seventh over – his decision to take the DRS turning out as a success. Marcus Stoinis and Pant added 45 before the former perished. Shimron Hetmyer struck the ball brilliantly and brought the Capitals exceptionally close. But Pant, who struggled for the most part made a fifty, but could not take Mohammed Siraj for 14 runs in the 20th over.
We’ve always had batting but now bowling as well: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli lauded Mohammed Siraj for bringing them back into the game and finishing it incredibly in the end. The 32-year old lamented some fielding lapses and admired the knocks played by Glenn Maxwell, De Villiers, and Rajat Patidar. Kohli thought that 160-165 was enough on this wicket and felt lucky that there was no dew due to the sandstorm in the middle. The right-handed batsman felt privileged to have plenty of bowling options, given that Maxwell has not bowled much yet and is delighted that their bowling unit has started to click now unlike before. Finally, Virat Kohli hailed De Villiers for giving his everything despite having not played professional cricket for a lot of time.
“At one stage I did [feel it was getting away]. But the way Siraj started the last over gave us confidence. He finished clinically in the end. I still feel we could have done things differently. In the field a couple of lapses.. Maxi, AB, Rajat had some nice innings. For the most part I think we were top in this game with our bowlers. We felt 160-165 was par. It was a bit two-paced. There wasn’t any dew tonight thanks to that little sandstorm in the middle and we ended up bowling with a dry ball. If you look at our bowling line-up, Maxi’s still not bowling, he’s the 7th option. As a captain I can bowl guys at different stages, take the load off one another. And Maxi is yet to bowl. We’ve always had batting but now bowling as well. I choose to be optimistic. You do well pressure as captain, when you do this a long time you need to manage that. I generally go with the gut feeling of the bowler. A lot of credit goes to this guy behind me [AB], he hasn’t played competitive cricket in five months but he keeps doing this,” Kohli told in the post-match presentation.