On March 30th, RCB took on KKR at the DY Patil Stadium and registered their first win. They beat their Bengal counterparts by 3 wickets in a nail-biting T20 match.
Put in to bat after losing the toss, KKR produced a meager total of 128 runs in 18.5 overs. However, what seemed like a one-sided match soon became a last-over thriller.
Here’s all that happened during the RCB vs KKR match.
First Innings Highlights
After Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bowl first, KKR went off to a shaky start. Among Venkatesh Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane, none could stay at the crease for long.
However, Venkatesh looked completely out of sync as he could not middle the ball throughout his short innings. He played 14 balls to score 10 runs and was caught by Akash Deep off his own bowling.
On the last ball of the 5th over, Rahane also walked back to the pavilion after giving a simple catch to Shahbaz Ahmed at square leg. His wicket went to Mohammad Siraj. The next man in was Nitish Rana, who joined his skipper, Shreyas Iyer, at the crease.
Rana got off the mark on the very first ball with a massive six over mid-wicket on the bowling of Akash Deep. In the same over, he smashed a free hit to the boundary.
When everything was looking right for him and KKR after early jolts, Rana threw his wicket away in the same over while attempting another big shot. He pulled the ball only to find David Willey, who ran briskly sideways to complete a spectacular diving catch.
At the end of the powerplay, KKR were 44-3, with Shreyas Iyer and Sunil Narine in the middle. Just as the field restrictions were lifted, KKR brought Wanindu Hasaranga, the leggie from Sri Lanka, into the attack. Showing his class and value, he got rid of Shreyas Iyer in his very first over.
Poor shot selection from the KKR skipper led to his fall for a mere 13 runs. Sam Billings came at number 6 for the Knight Riders.
A small partnership between Billings and Sunil Narine seemed to be stitching when the latter hit some handsome shots to the fence. However, within the next 20 odd runs, Sunil Narine fell to a beauty from Wanindu Hasaranga for 12. KKR were 67-5 in 8.5 overs.
Sam Billings was joined by Sheldon Jackson, but the young wicket-keeper could do nothing about a gem of a delivery from Hasaranga as his off-stump went flying to the leg spinner. Hasaranga got 2 wickets in two balls, and KKR was down to 67- 6 in 9 overs.
The KKR faces were down but not hopeless as Andre Russell came out to bat at number 8. He started well by hitting the prime bowler Hasaranga over long-on for a massive six. The last recognized batting pair was expected to get the team out of trouble.
On the contrary, in the 12th over of the innings, Billings seemed under pressure after playing three consecutive dot balls. The fourth ball of Harshal Pate’s over saw Sam trying to break the shackles with a long heave to only find Virat Kohli stationed at the long-on boundary. The score was 83-7 in 11.4 overs.
Nevertheless, Dre Russ continued in his style. He creamed Shahbaz Ahmed for two sixes in the 13th over. As they say, good things don’t last long, neither did Andre Russell. In the very next over, Dre Russ was facing Harshal Patel, who once again built pressure by bowling four consecutive dot balls.
Naturally, on the 5th delivery, Russell tried to smack a wide, short-pitched ball over the point region only to find an outside edge to the keeper. He scored 25 runs, and KKR was 99-8 after 14 overs.
Thanks to the late flurry from Umesh Yadav, the Knight Riders managed to get to 128-10 in 18.5 overs. The task was cut for them- take 10 wickets and win the match. And they were very much capable of doing that, given their swashbuckling bowling lineup.
Best Batter for KKR
Though Andre Russell scored 25 off 18, hitting three sixes and a boundary, you cannot ignore the contribution from Umesh Yadav. The tailender hit 2 fours and a six to score 18 runs and get his team a respectable total.
Best bowler for RCB
Wanindu Hasaranga took 4 wickets for 20 runs in 4 overs.
The Chase by RCB
Cricket lovers know that it is the small totals that make for a tricky chase. In the quest to reach 129, RCB couldn’t get off to a good start. Not even a decent one.
They lost Anuj Rawat off the third ball of the innings for a golden duck to a beauty from Umesh Yadav, who swung the ball away from the left-hander.
Virat Kohli joined du Plessis at the crease and smashed two fours in two deliveries straightaway. Tim Southee removed the RCB skipper for 5 in the second over, and RCB was 17-2.
But the clouds were just starting to cover the hopes of RCB as Umesh Yadav got rid of Virat Kohli with another outswinger. Kohli was caught behind for 12 runs.
From thereon, the game was wide open for KKR to seal, and RCB had to pin their hopes on their untested and inexperienced duo of Shane Rutherford and David Willey. They needed a partnership, and that’s what they got.
Several extras from the KKR pacers allowed the two men to settle. Both were cautious in choosing their shots and played the lethal Sunil Narine with utmost awareness. They took the game deep, and just when things settled, the man from West Indies, Sunil Narine, again brought the breakthrough.
The off-spinner dismissed David Willey (18 off 28) to bring KKR back into the game. At that time, KKR were 62-4 in 11 overs. They were not worried about the run rate; the wickets column was troubling them.
RCB’s thinktank decided to send Shahbaz Ahmed ahead of Dinesh Karthik to change the rhythm of the KKR bowling unit. The decision was aimed at forcing Shreyas Iyer to get Sunil Narine off the attack since he would understandably keep his best bowler for the opposition’s best remaining batter, Dinesh Karthik.
Did it work? Yes, it did. In the next five overs, RCB scored 39 runs, of which 27 came from the bat of Shahbaz. The young man didn’t hit a four but powered three mammoth sixes. Varun Chakravarthy got rid of him as he was stumped out. RCB were 101-5 after 16 overs, requiring 28 off 24.
Dinesh Karthik came at number seven for RCB. Soon, Rutherford’s valiant innings also came to an end. He was caught by Sheldon Jackson behind the wickets in a superb manner. Wanindu Hasaranga was also dismissed cheaply by Tim Southee.
RCB were 112-7 after 18 overs. Shreyas Iyer had to make a call deciding who would bowl the 19th over, Russell or Venkatesh Iyer. Why did he have to choose, given the West Indian should have been his go-to guy?
Well, Russell was struggling with his length and even had a stiff shoulder. Therefore, KKR decided to go with Venkatesh Iyer in a bold move with only 17 to get from 12. He started well but eventually gave away 10 runs to leave only 7 for the final over.
No, it wasn’t Dinesh Karthik who hit him but Harshal Patel, who slammed two fours to get his team closer to victory. DK joined the act in the final over, hitting Andre Russell for a six over the square leg boundary.
With 1 run needed in 5 balls, Karthik hit a handsome straight drive to seal the game with a boundary.
Best Batter for RCB
This is a tough choice to make, but for me, it was Shahbaz Ahmad’s cameo (27 from 20 balls) that changed the course for RCB.
Best Bowler for KKR
Umesh Yadav (16 for 2 in 4 overs) and Sunil Narine ( 12 for 1 in 4 overs) were both fantastic. While Yadav built pressure and struck early on, Narine held the opposition by their collars in the middle phase.
Interesting Moments in the RCB vs KKR match
Two Wicket-Maiden Overs
Harshal Patel bowled two consecutive wicket-maiden overs. He eventually gave 11 runs in his quota of 4 overs, taking 2 wickets.
The Dropped Catch
Shreyas Iyer was dropped on 10 by Siraj of his own bowling in the fifth over of the KKR innings.
Mix-up between Karthik and Harshal Patel
There was a massive mix-up between Dinesh Karthik and Harshal Patel in the 19th over of the RCB innings. DK hit the ball towards point, and without a second thought, Harshal Patel, who was at the non-striker’s end, ran for a quick single.
However, with Karthik saying no to the run, both batsmen were jammed together at the striker’s end. Fortunately for RCB, the throw was towards the wrong end, and even the keeper couldn’t gather it properly to pass it to the bowler.
Harshal ended up scoring 10 from 6, and Karthik hit 14 off 7 balls. Had the runout been executed, the result might have been different.
There were several brilliant catches taken throughout the match. It began with David Willey, who caught Nitish Rana running sideways and diving flawlessly.
Later, Sheldon Jackson took a blinder behind the wickets to dismiss Sherfane Rutherford. If that was not enough, the big man from West Indies ran backward and took a stunning catch of Wanindu Hasaranga.