Riding on superb bowling performances by Wanindu Hasaranga and Akash Deep followed by some gritty batting displays by Sherfane Rutherford and Shahbaz Ahmed, Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets in a thrilling contest here at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai on Wednesday. With this win, RCB also secured registered their first points of the season while KKR were handed their first loss.
Defending a modest 129-run target Kolkata Knight Riders needed some early wickets and Umesh Yadav did exactly that dismissing RCB Opener Anuj Rawat for a duck caught behind to wicket-keeper Sheldon Jackson in the very first over.
Virat Kohli walked into bat and struck Umesh Yadav for two consecutive boundaries. In the next over Tim Southee got the wicket of RCB captain Faf du Plessis caught by Ajinkya Rahane for 4. Umesh who was hit for two boundaries on the trot by Kohli in the previous over made a brilliant come back dismissing the former RCB captain caught behind by keeper Jackson for 12 to leave Bangalore tottering at 17 for 3.
RCB desperately needed a partnership and David Willey and Sherfane Rutherford did exactly that to take the team’s total beyond the 50-run mark in the eighth over. Mystery spinner Sunil Narine broke the 45-run partnership dismissing Willey for 18 caught by Nitish Rana as RCB lost their fourth wicket at 62.
Shahbaz Ahmed joined Rutherford and the duo batted sensibly to take the team’s total beyond the triple-figure mark in the 16th over. The moment it seemed that Rutherford- Ahmed duo will take the RCB team to victory Varun Chakravarthy struck as keeper Jackson stumped Shahbaz Ahmed for 27 from 20 balls as Bangalore lost their fifth wicket for 101.
Southee was brought back into the attack and the Kiwi pacer gave a double blow to RCB dismissing well set Rutherford for 28 and Wanindu Hasaranga for 4 as Bangalore lost seven wickets for 111 needing 18 more runs to win. At a stage when the match could have gone either way Harshal Patel walked into bat and hit two boundaries in the 19th over as RCB needed 7 runs to win off the last over.
Experienced wicket-keeper batter Dinesh Karthik hit a six and a boundary to wrap up the match in RCB’s favour as they beat KKR by three wickets. Earlier in the day Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and put Kolkata Knight Riders to bat. The two-time champions Kolkata started off consciously with openers Ajinkya Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer scoring 14 runs in the first three overs.
RCB captain du Plessis made a bowling change in the fourth over as Akash Deep replaced Mohammed Siraj and the medium-pacer struck in his very first ball for 10 caught and bowled as KKR lost their first wicket for 14. Siraj was brought from the other end in the fifth over and the pacer got the wicket of Rahane caught by Shahbaz Ahmed for 9 to leave Kolkata in a spot of bother at 32 for 2.
Akash Deep struck once again and this time he got the wicket of dangerous Nitish Rana as David Willey took a brilliant diving catch to dismiss him for 10 to leave KKR tottering at 44/3 at the end Powerplay. After the Powerplay, the RCB captain introduced spin by bringing Wanindu Hasaranga into the attack and the Sri Lankan struck getting the prized scalp of KKR captain Shreyas Iyer for 13 to leave his side in further trouble at 46 for 4.
Sunil Narine’s few blows helped Kolkata cross the 50-run mark but any hopes of a revival were dealt a severe blow as Hasaranga got two more wickets off consecutive balls to replace Sunil Narine and Sheldon Jackson to leave Kolkata in deep trouble at 67/6. Harshal Patel too joined the bandwagon dismissing Sam Billings for 14 caught by Virat Kohli as KKR lost their seventh wicket for 83. Andre Russell kept the scoreboard moving with some lusty blows hitting three sixes and one boundary.
The moment the West Indian looked dangerous Harshal Patel got his wicket for 25 caught behind by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik as Kolkata lost their eighth wicket for 99. The Shreyas Iyer-led side scratched their way to the triple-figure mark. Hasaranga looked unstoppable getting his fourth wicket of the match dismissing Tim Southee for 1 caught by Faf du Plessis as Kolkata lost their ninth wicket for 101.
Just when it seemed as RCB will clean up the tail the KKR tail-enders showed Umesh Yadav and Varun Chakravarthy some appetite for a fight hitting a few boundaries to strike a 27-run partnership for the 10th wicket as Akash Deep rattled the stumps of Umesh Yadav who scored 18 off 12 balls hitting two fours and one six. KKR were bowled out for 125 in 18.5 overs.
Brief Scores: KKR 125/10 in 18.5 overs (Andre Russell 25, Umesh Yadav 18; Wanindu Hasaranga 4/20, Akash Deep 3/45) vs RCB 132/7 in 19.2 overs (Sherfane Rutherford 28, Shahbaz Ahmed 27; Tim Southee 3/20, Umesh Yadav 2/16).