Bangalore: There was every indication that it was going to be a night for Bangaloreans to party for Royal Challengers Bangalore had ended their innings on a great note to put together a healthy 185, while their bowlers had, for a change, struck early and regularly. All of it came to naught though, with visitors Kolkata Knight Riders riding on spectacular efforts by Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell to pull off a thrilling five-wicket win at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium last night.
KKR's Yusuf Pathan during his match-winning knock against RCB at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday night. Pic/AFP
It all didn’t seem possible after the first over loss of Robin Uthappa, the fall of a settled Gautam Gambhir (37, 29b, 4x4, 1x6) and the failures of Chris Lynn and Manish Pandey. Not after RCB had taken 54 off the last three overs of their own innings after being put to bat. No one seemed to have told Russell (39, 24b, 1x4, 4x6) or Pathan (60 not out, 29b, 6x4, 3x6) that as they turned the game on its head with some really massive hits and against both pace and spin. KKR needed 117 runs off 59 balls when the fifth wicket pair got together. They knocked off 96 of those in a mere 45 balls to ensure that RCB’s poor run continued in the tournament.
Earlier, asked to bat by Gautam Gambhir, there was the usual Virat Kohli class on display, this time batting at his India positon of No 3 and making a 44-ball 52. Opener KL Rahul (52, 32b, 6x4, 2x6) came up with another impressive knock, but the RCB innings, with no contributions from Chris Gayle or AB De Villiers never really got going, not until Umesh Yadav came back for this second spell.
This was one of those days when Gambhir hadn’t brought in a sixth bowler, so Yadav it had to be for the 18th and 20th overs, more so after he had conceded only 15 from his first two. RCB took 41 off the last two, with Sachin Baby (16 off 8 balls) and Binny next coming up with very hard hits.
In a trice, RCB, who seemed headed for a below par 160, had 185 on the board, a total that was defendable if the bowlers and the fielders came to the party. They did initially only for Pathan and Russell to take the game away.
RCB 185-6 (KL Rahul 52, Virat Kohli 52; Morne Morkel 2-28, Piyush Chawla 2-32) lost to KKR 186-5 in 19.1 overs (Yusuf Pathan 60*, Andre Russell 39; Y Chahal 2-27) by five wkts