Indore: Having found some light at the end of the tunnel, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will be keen to expose the chinks in Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)'s armoury during their must-win IPL encounter here on Monday.
Umesh Yadav ambushed KL Rahul and Chris Gayle with short balls and the rest of Kings XI Punjab's batting line-up made lemmings seem cautious as they were knocked over for 88 in 15.1 overs. Punjab got the first blow as Rahul. It then opened the floodgates and KXIP crashed to their joint second lowest total.
Chasing a target of 89, Kohli and Parthiv Patel (40 off 22 balls) finished in the ninth over itself. They will now look to win their remaining two games and hope the results of the matches of Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and KXIP go in their favour.
Speaking at the post-match press conference Kohli said, "The last one week has been really insane for us". Gayle hasn't delivered in three consecutive games now and it is high time that the star opener finds some momentum going into the Play offs. Kohli said that he got out in his bid to up the net run-rate. Couldn't have asked for a more clinical performance. The negative NRR which can depreciate further with more losses, which mean the theoretical possibility of them qualifying with 12 points is highly unlikely. "We picked up players who could contribute to our culture and not be so anxious about their personal performances", he said. Backed by some good fielding, Umesh Yadav (3/23) came up with an impressive bowling effort up front to destabilise the Kings XI innings.
Delhi, out of contention for the playoffs, scored 4-181 after Kohli won the toss and opted to field. Umesh was brilliant, taking those two big wickets in the same over.
It was a similar script for Delhi Daredevils (DD) as their batsmen did the job and posted 181/4 in 20 overs but bowlers failed miserably yet again as RCB chased the target in just 19 overs. This is despite the fact that she's in the U.S. now shooting for Aanand L Rai's Zero, opposite Shah Rukh Khan.More news: Trucker Putin opens Russian bridge to annexed Crimea
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"As I said, it was a ideal day right from the toss".
They have big names like Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chahal.
"Bowling first is better in this stage, because it's easier for batsmen to take responsibility".
RCB have to face Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals in their next two games on Thursday and Saturday. For the other team, playoffs are virtually over and all they could do is to finish the season on a high and in turn play spoilsports for other playoff aspirants. We predict Punjab to get back to winning ways courtesy of a Gayle storm. The last game will really be interesting if we can win our next one.
Just a few hours after the game, Virat Kohli had taken to the micro-blogging site, Twitter to share how much he enjoyed batting with De Villiers and wrote, "Have always loved batting with this guy".