Kohli leads RCB to win against Punjab Kings

cricket09 May 2024 18:30| © MWP
By:Neil Manthorp
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RCB © PhotoShelter

The irrepressibly brilliant Virat Kohli made a stylish, occasionally brutal 92 from only 47 balls to lead the Royal Challengers Bengaluru to an imposing victory by 60 runs in their IPL match against the Punjab Kings at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Stadium in Dharamsala on Thursday.

RCB posted a daunting total of 241 for seven after being asked to bat first and it proved comfortably beyond the home side’s resources despite a fiery 61 from 27 balls (9x4, 3x6) from Rilee Rossouw.

Shashankh Singh briefly threatened during the run-chase with 37 from 19 balls but when Kohli ran him out with a brilliant direct hit it was the end for Punjab who frittered to 181 all out.

Kohli was at his imperious best with seven fours and six sixes and was on course for an astonishing ninth IPL century before slap-driving left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh to Rossouw on the cover boundary who held a tricky, sliding catch.

Big-hitters Faf du Plessis (9) and Will Jacks (12) departed early but Rajat Patidar hammered 55 from just 23 deliveries (3x4, 6x6) to set the tone for the innings despite a short rain break.

Patidar’s efforts ended with an edged drive against Punjab captain Sam Curran to ‘keeper Jonny Bairstow but his momentum was maintained by Australian allrounder, Cameron Green, who belted 46 from 27 balls with five fours and a six.

Veteran Dinesh Karthik blasted two sixes and a four in his 7-ball 18 before driving seamer Harshal Patel (3-38) to Curran at long-on to continue the work of the top order.

Punjab captain, Curran, is just one of many high-profile bowlers to have endured a miserable tournament and his 1-50 from three overs continued the torment. Rahul Chahar (3-0-47-0) and Arshdeep (3-0-41-1) didn’t fare much better.

Punjab are now officially eliminated from the playoff places while RCB remain mathematically capable of finishing in the top four provided they win their remaining two matches and a series of other, unlikely, results go their way.

PUNJAB KINGS: Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Prabhsimran Singh, Rilee Rossouw, Shashank Singh, Sam Curran (captain), Liam Livingstone, Ashutosh Sharma, Harshal Patel, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Vidhwath Kaverappa

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BENGALURU: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis (captain), Will Jacks, Rajat Patidar, Mahipal Lomror, Cameron Green, Dinesh Karthik (wkt), Swapnil Singh, Karn Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Lockie Ferguson