Royal Challengers Bangalore brushed aside a lackluster Kolkata Knight Riders by 8 wickets at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (October 21).
Virat-Kohli led RCB thus moved into the second position in the points table for the time being, with this huge victory giving them a huge boost in the net run-rate.
Eoin Morgan won the toss for the Knight Riders and chose to bat first. What followed thereafter, was perhaps KKR’s worst batting performance in IPL history.
In just the second over, Virat Kohli handed the ball to Mohammad Siraj – who had been brought into the side in place of spinner Shahbaz Ahmed. Siraj answered his leaders call by removing KKR opener Rahul Tripathi caught behind and followed it up with an in swinging scorcher to bowl out Nitish Rana on the very next ball. Siraj thus wickets and also bowled a maiden.
Shubman Gill was removed by Chris Morris when he tried to go for a lazy pull and KKR’s score read 3/3 after just 2.2 overs. Mohammed Siraj then accounted for Tom Banton, caught behind to pick-up his third wicket. Siraj scripted history after the completion of his second over, which was also a maiden. He became the first player in IPL history to bowl two maiden overs in an IPL match.
At the end of his second over, his astonishing figures read 2-2-0-3. Dinesh Karthik too flattered to deceive and fell Lbw against Chahal after a scrappy 4 off 14 balls.
Eoin Morgan (30 off 34 balls) tied-up one end but the wickets kept falling from the other. At one stage, when the RCB spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar were operating, it looked a wicket would fall on every ball.
The RCB bowlers spun a web around the KKR batsmen and they couldn’t score at all. They ambled along at pedestrian pace with everything going against them.
Eoin Morgan engaged in partnerships with Kuldeep Yadav (12 off 19 balls) and Lockie Ferguson (19 off 16 balls). Morgan tried to up the ante but fell to Washington Sundar in the process. KKR could only post a paltry 84/8 from their 20 overs.
Mohammad Siraj was the pick of the bowlers with a breath-taking spell of 4-2-8-3.
Chasing just 85 to win, Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch gave a very strong start to RCB – Perhaps, giving a lesson to the KKR batsmen on how to go about batting in the powerplay.
In the first six overs, the RCB duo raced away to 44/0. They didn’t take any unnecessary risks and relied on rotating the strike initially and then went for their shots.
The duo engaged in a 46-run stand for the opening wicket which was the final nail in the coffin.
KKR hero from the last game, Lockie Ferguson, bowling his first over, removed the well set Aaron Finch (16 off 21 balls) on his second ball and then just two balls later, there was a terrible mix-up between Gurkeerat Mann and Devdutt Padikkal. Gurkeerat defended a ball and Padikkal came too far down the track to go back and Cummins just jogged to the non-striker’s end and ran him out.
Lockie Ferguson was the only silver lining for KKR as he finished with economical figures of 4-0-17-1. He had also scored 19 valuable runs earlier.
Virat Kohli and Gurkeerat Mann then joined forces and easily cruised to a memorable triumph, where almost everything went right for them.
Mohammed Siraj was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his scintillating display with the ball.