Updated: Sep 21, 2021
KKR 94 for 1 (Gill 48, Iyer 41*) beat RCB 92 (Padikkal 22, Russell 3-9, Varun 3-13) by nine wickets
Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore were up against Kolkata Knight Riders in the 31st match of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and his 200th at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss and elected to bowl first. Both the teams included debutants in their playing XI. For Bangalore, wicketkeeper-batter Kon Srikar Bharat and Sri Lanka leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga got the nod while on the other hand for Kolkata, it was left-handed batter Venkstesh Iyer who debuted in the marquee tournament.
“We will bat first. Looks like a good pitch, the grass will hold it together, and will slow down as the game progresses. This one's special, we promised back in May that we'll play for the COVID warriors, here it is - we'll auction this uniform and the proceeds will go to them,” said RCB captain Virat Kohli at the toss.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Playing XI - Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Wanindu Hasaranga, Sachin Baby, Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal
“Looks really good, it should stay pretty similar for the entire length of the game. Hoping that the performances will change in this phase of the tournament. It's been challenging, but we are happy to be back here,” said KKR captain Eoin Morgan at the toss.
Kolkata Knight Riders Playing XI - Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
RCB crumble for 92 in the face of three-fers by Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell
Royal Challengers Bangalore lost captain Virat Kohli in just the second over and were never able to recover from that point. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were not able to play their full quota of 20 overs as they were bowled out for 92 runs on the last ball of the 19th over.
The Kolkata pacers bowled with good pace and tight length. Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell were the star bowlers for KKR with spells of 4-0-13-3 and 3-0-9-3 respectively. Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna also took two wickets and one wicket respectively while conceding just 24 runs each in their spell of four overs. Off-spinner Sunil Narine was economical as ever with a spell of 4-0-20-0.
For Bangalore, only four players were able to score in double digits. AB de Villiers was bowled on a golden duck by a beautiful yorker from Russell and Virat Kohli was only able to score only five runs in four balls which included a boundary and got leg before wicket to Prasidh Krishna in the second over of the innings.
AB de Villiers was sent back to the pavilion on the first ball that he played against Andre Russell on the fourth ball of the ninth over. Russell got the wicket of de Villiers off a perfect yorker. Maxwell got bowled on a googly from Varun Chakravarthy on the fourth ball of the 12th over.
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer make mincemeat of the under-100 target
While chasing the target of 93 runs, KKR chased it down in just 10 overs with nine wickets in hand. Shubman Gill and debutant Venkatesh Iyer came to open the innings for Kolkata. Both the openers played aggressively and attacked the RCB bowlers. Gill scored 48 runs from just 34 balls which included six fours and a six while on the other hand, Iyer scored an unbeaten 41 runs from just 27 balls which included seven fours and a six.
While defending 93 runs in 20 overs, the Bangalore bowlers started with a negative approach from ball one. The RCB bowlers strayed away from their line and length and were not bowling according to the plans. The Bangalore fielders were also very sloppy while fielding.
This is the sixth successive defeat for RCB in UAE. Incidentally, their last win came against KKR at the same venue when they restricted KKR to 84/8 in 20 overs and chased it down in 13.3 overs last year.
“It was important to get a good partnership on this surface. We honestly didn't expect that much dew to kick in so early, we couldn't have predicted that. It looked like a good wicket to bat on first up. We were 42-odd for one and then lost about five wickets within 20 runs from there, which is a very difficult situation to come back from. Bit of a collapse there for us, a bit of a wake-up call and might as well have this at the start of the second leg so that we know exactly what we need to work on,” said Virat Kohli, RCB captain at the post-match presentation.
Speaking on the performance by Player-of-the-Match Varun Chakravarthy, Virat said, “Pretty good, that's exactly what I was saying in the dug-out, he's going to be a key factor when he plays for India. We need to see performances like these from all the youngsters so that the bench strength of Indian cricket stays strong.”
The winning KKR captain Eoin Morgan said, “The timing of it is excellent. The talent we have within our squad, sometimes that counts for nothing. You have to go out there and show how good you are. Was 50-50 about the toss. Bowlers have had an outstanding day today. Maxwell, AB, Virat - we got on top of them which is fantastic and really rare.”
“Have a long way to go. Need a lot of things to go right for us. Today was the perfect start. Maybe it makes us a dangerous side - we haven't turned up to the tournament so far,” he added.
Player-of-the-Match Varun Chakravarthy said, “I try to assess the pitch first. It was flat only. Would like to give credit to the bowlers who bowled in the powerplay for the discipline. There wasn't much on the pitch. Wasn't much spin on offer so I had to keep it on the stumps.”
“I thought it was out (the hattrick ball) but just saw the replay that there was an inside edge. Definitely made me feel better, and got a sense of acceptance from the people around me. Started very late in my career. Now me getting picked for India gives me a sense of acceptance,” he added.
RCB remains at the no. 3 in the points table with 5 wins from 8 games and KKR move to no. 5 position with 3 wins from 8 games at a healthy NRR of +0.11.
Punjab Kings face off against Rajasthan Royals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on September 21.
Twitter Reactions as KKR beat RCB by 9 wickets
As KKR beat RCB by nine wickets with 60 balls remaining, cricket fans and pundits went crazy and showed appreciation for KKR on their fantastic performance. People also congratulated Prasid Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer on their magnificent outing.
Here is the collection of some of the finest tweets: