Royal Challengers Bangalore recorded their fifth win to reach 10 points with a big win over Kolkata Knight Riders. They are now on same points as Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals and at third position due to NRR. Despite the loss, KKR held onto their fourth position in the table.
AB de Villiers again proved his calibre with a special knock in the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. In a slow pitch where every other batsman struggled, de Villiers played an outstanding innings to score an unbeaten 73 off 33 deliveries with five fours and sic sixes. Mr. 360 showed his full range of shots and ensured the Bangalore team had enough on the board to defend. He came to bat in the 13th over with the score on 94/2. For first overs there were mostly singles as he and Virat Kohli played with caution and got used to with the pace of the pitch. Kohli kept rotating the strike and finished with unbeaten 28-ball 33 whereas de Villiers teed off in last few overs and put all the KKR bowlers to cleaners.
Every year, RCB struggled with their bowling and more specifically death bowling. This year they look like a different outfit and one of the primary reasons behind that is their more potent bowling attack. Young Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar ensured good start in every match during the Powerplay. Yuzvendra Chahal is proving his worth as world’s leading leg spinner and Isuru Udana is a surprise package for them. Their 10-crore purchase in the IPL auction 2020, Chris Morris had to miss the first five matches due to injuries. But as soon as he is fit and introduced in the RCB attack, it looked even more stronger. Morris already picked up five wickets in two matches. His two overs in Powerplay and two overs in death become critical for RCB in pursuit of their first ever IPL title.
Despite the last two wins KKR did not look like a settled unit and they again made changes in their batting line-up. They released a press statement regarding Sunil Narine being warned regarding his bowling action and replaced him with Tom Banton and played with just five bowlers including the solitary spinner in Varun Chakravarthy. Banton came out as an opener during the chase and this way KKR used their third opening combination in seven matches. Rahul Tripathi was again pushed back to batting at number seven and had too much to do. Andre Russell again failed to stay for more than 10 balls during his innings and with he and Eoin Morgan getting dismissed cheaply this target was out of reach for them. In their next match against MI, they would hope to bring a settled combination in both batting and bowling.
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