Cricket / virat kohli
Russel, Rana blizzard can't overshadow Kohli's 100 as RCB beat KKR
Virat Kohli celebrates his century Source Royal Challengers Bangalore won only their second match of IPL 2019 out of the nine matches that they have played so far. Despite putting on a massive 213 runs on the board on the back of Virat Kohli’s fifth IPL century, the south Indian team was really given a scare by Andre Russel and Nitish Rana. They brought Kolkata Knight Riders to within striking distance of 214 runs needing only 24 runs in the last over. Moeen Ali, however, defended the runs well to give Bangalore a win by 10 runs. Royal Challengers lost Parthiv Patel early to Sunil Narine. With AB de Villiers out due to injury, Bangalore experimented with Akashdeep Nath. But Nath could only manage 13 runs off 15 balls and Russell had him caught by Uthappa. Royal Challengers were 59 for 2 in 8.5 overs with Kohli on an uncharacteristic 33 off 27 balls. It was Moeen Ali who the tone for Bangalore to amass another 153 runs off 67 balls and to present a big target for the opposition. Moeen Ali set the tone for the Bangalore total Source Ali hit six sixes and 5 fours on his way to 66 off 28 balls. Not sparing any bowler, he virtually took Kuldeep Yadav to the cleaners. Yadav did ultimately get Ali out caught but had conceded 3 sixes and 2 four in the previous five balls of that over. A devastated Kuldeep Yadav finished with 59 runs for 1 wicket from overs. He was to later commit several errors in the field including a miss-field that led gave Virat Kohli his century. At the end of 16 overs, Moeen Ali had left Royal Challengers at 149 for three and Marcus Stoinis replaced him. Contrary to Virat Kohli’s painstakingly accumulating 50 runs which required 40 balls, his second half-century came off only 17 balls. He reached his century, his first since IPL 2016 when he flicked Gurney to long leg. Along with Stoinis he had put together a 64 runs partnership for the fourth wicket and took the team score to 213. Harry Gurney had Kohli caught by Shuman Gill at deep midwicket on the very next ball which was the last ball of the inning. Andre Russel hit 9 sixes in his 65 runs Source Dale Styne almost got the wicket of Chris Lynn off the first ball that he bowled since his injury lay-off had not Stoinis dropped the catch at first slip. Styne did, however, get his man caught by Kohli off the last ball of the very same over. Narine did hit three boundaries off Styne but was caught by Patel off Navdeep Saini. Styne accounted for Shubman Gill and Kolkata Knight Riders were 33 for 3 at the end of five overs. Robin Uthappa who came in at the fall of Gill’s wicket simply could not get going. By the time Uthappa was out in the twelfth over the required run-rate had risen to 16.62 runs per over. Most other batsmen would have given up the task of scoring 135 runs from 49 balls which were required of KKR when Andre Russell came to the crease. But the big Jamaican set about it with gusto. Nitish Rana also picked up his scoring rate. Russell mostly scored in sixes. He scored 65 runs in 25 balls while hitting 9 sixes and two fours. He hit Chahal for three successive sixes in one over. Nitish Rana also played a mighty fine inning remaining not out with 85 runs (46 balls). The duo had put together 102 two runs in 64 balls if only to fall short of the target by 10 runs as Russell got run out on the penultimate ball of the match. Nitish Rana played a good role in the attempt to chase down The RCB score Source Though Royal Challengers Bangalore has won two matches, the same as Rajasthan Royals, they are still at the bottom of the league table by virtue of their lower net run rate and the latter has a game in hand. From here on Challengers have to play as if every match is a final and hope some other results go in their favour to have a chance of making it to the playoffs. KKR are placed just above the two bottom rankers having lost four matches in a row.
Shreyas Gopal stars as Rajasthan Royals registered their first win.
The leggie picked up three big wickets of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Hetmyer. RR won the toss and opted to bowl first. Both the temas made certain changes to their playing eleven. RCB got off to a decent start scoring 48 in first six. But then in came the leggie who just spun a web around RCB. Shreyas Gopal as mentioned got three huge wickets. Parthiv Patel looked to be batting on a different surface as he scored 67. Stoinis brought in as replacement held one end and with Moeen Ali in the death overs finished at 158. This score looked below par. RR had a great opportunity to get the much needed two points on the table and they did that comfortably in the end. Both the openers Rahane and Buttler were off to a flier scoring 55 off first six. However Virat Kohli dropped Rahane when the batter was on 1. Chahal got the all important breakthrough by trapping Rahane in front of the stumps. Buttler meanwhile on the other hand got going and brought up his 50, second of this IPL. He too was dismissed by Chahal. Tripathi and Steve Smith made sure that there were no additional hiccups as they batted sensibly and playing risk free shots. The hosts in the end won by 7 wickets with a ball to spare. Shreyas Gopal was rightly given Man of the Match. RCB looked below par in every department specifically fielding. They had dropped catches which one would expect them to hold on to. It is high time now for RCB as they need to win 8 out of the remaining 10 matches to qualify for Play-offs.
RR RCB look to get off the mark.
Both the teams have lost 3 consecutive games. RR had almost crossed the line but fell short against CSK. While RCB were completely thrashed by SRH in which the two openers David Warner and Johnny Bairstow got to their respective hundreds. One common problem both the teams are facing and that obviously is their bowling department, RCB in particular. RCB would like to add an overseas fast bowler in the form of Tim Southee or Nathan Coulter Nile. Another reason to worry for RCB is their skipper who hasn't batted to his best. RCB relies on AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli heavily. So the RCB fans would be wanting both these batsman to play to their full potential. RR on the other hand had individuals playing to their best with Samson getting a 100 in the game against SRH, Buttler scoring 50+ against Punjab. So they would want a good collective batting performance.
What to look out forward to in this year's IPL?
So, it is that time of the year ! IPL is back for its 12th edition and this perhaps might be the most peculiar season. Reasons include the upcoming general elections, but most importantly, it is the World Cup in the month of June that every nation has its eyes on. So, let's look at some of the points we can look forward to in the coming couple of months :How will India's fast bowlers manage their workload: Fast bowlers are most fragile when exposed to continuous cricket. So, it will be interesting to see how the bowlers who are in contention for world cup(Bhuvi, Bumrah, Shami, Khaleel, Pandya) manage their workload so as to remain fresh for the mega event in June. How will franchisees react to international players' unavailability: No matter how popular and competitive IPL is, it is still well below the world cup when it comes to comparing the importance of both the events. So, naturally, international players will be called back to train in their respective countries somewhere in the 2nd half of the tournament. So, how the teams react to this and how they use their backups remains to be seen.Auditions for final spots: While the core of India's eleven is fixed, the total 15 players' lineup is yet to be decided. So, this is the final tournament where players who are on the verge of getting selected/rejected can stake their claim. Those fringe players are : KL, Pant, DK, Vijay Shankar, Jadeja, Khaleel and they surely will treat this IPL as a final audition. Although the Indian skipper said that IPL performances won't be counted for the world cup, some excellent form shown by some players surely can't go unnoticed !Swan song for some players: Like every year, some players will hang up their boots for the most popular T20 tournament. But this year, those players are the ones who have made IPL what it never could have been if it wasn't for them. The likes of Malinga, Gayle, and even possibly Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Watson could be playing their final year. These are the players who have not only made IPL popular, but also promoted T20 cricket across the globe and we would surely like them to go out with a bang.Will RCB finally cross the line? Perhaps one of the most unluckiest teams when it comes to winning the IPL. They have had the two of the best batsmen in the world in Virat and AB for so long and yet they haven't tasted success. Not only them, they even had some very great players like Gayle, Starc, Mcculum, Vettori, Kumble, Dravid, Zaheer, but collectively, they haven't been able to deliver. So, from a fan's point of view, I think everyone wants them to win at least once and see some AB fireworks in the process.