The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) witnessed another close match on Friday between the hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and visitors Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) as both teams tried their best to win. There were quite some spectacular performances in the match, but the ones that stood out were Umesh Yadav’s fiery spell of 3/23 and AB de Villiers’ valiant knock of 57.
Although KXIP had the initial and final impetus in their batting innings in the form of KL Rahul’s knock of 47 and Ravichandran Ashwin’s late blast of 33 respectively, it was Umesh’s spell in between that didn’t allow them to get to a big total, thereby restricting them to only 155 runs.
Later it was De Villiers’ valiant innings that helped RCB to look beyond the initial advantage that the KXIP bowlers had gained with early wickets and ultimately emerge victorious by four wickets.
Let us now have a look at how all the 22 players fared in the match.
Umesh Yadav: 10/10
Umesh backed up his spell of 2/27 against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the previous match with another thunderous spell as he choked the Kings XI Punjab claiming three wickets for just 23 runs off his four overs. All three of his wickets, which included the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch and Yuvraj Singh, came in the second over of his spell, the fourth of the innings, when KXIP were flying high with 32 runs on the board without the loss of any wicket. He was also adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’ for this fine bowling performance.
Ravichandran Ashwin: 10/10
The KXIP skipper led his side from the front on Friday. At first, he played an all important knock of 33 runs off just 21 deliveries batting at No 8, and then returned with bowling figures of 4-30-2 to help his side’s cause. Both of his wickets, Quinton de Kock and Sarfraz Khan, came off consecutive deliveries in his final over.
AB de Villiers: 10/10
De Villiers once again showed he is still one of the best batsmen in the world. He played a calm, composed and calculated knock of 57 runs that helped setup a four-wicket victory for RCB against KXIP at home. He took 40 deliveries during the innings, and included two fours and four monstrous sixes.
Quinton de Kock: 9/10
De Kock played a wonderful hand in RCB’s victory against the visitors as he played a composed knock of 45 runs off 34 deliveries while opening the innings. He was involved in two crucial partnerships — 32 runs for the third wicket with Kohli and 54 runs for the fourth wicket with de Villiers—which gave RCB stability after losing the early wicket of McCullum. He also too one catch and effected two stumpings to go with his fine batting performance.
Washington Sundar: 9/10
The young Tamil Nadu off-spinner came back strong with his bowling this time after going for runs in the previous game. He returned with bowling figures of 4-22-2. His wickets which included the likes of KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis came while both batsmen were looking to tee off. Both wickets came at crucial stages of the match and thus restricted Punjab from getting a big total on the board. He also finished the game off for his team, hitting two boundaries in the last over.
KL Rahul: 8/10
Rahul followed up his fiery knock of fifty in the previous game with another composed knock of 47 against RCB on this occasion. His innings was studded with four sixes and two fours and thus helped KXIP maintain a good run rate despite losing wickets at regular intervals during the initial overs. He also ended up as the top scorer for KXIP in this game.
Axar Patel: 8/10
The southpaw could not do much damage with the bat but played an all important role with the ball, returning with figures of 4-25-1. He opened the bowling for KXIP and kept it pretty tight. He got McCullum dismissed for a golden duck in the very first over of the innings and thus helped his side with an all important early breakthrough.
Kulwant Khejroliya: 8/10
The left arm fast bowler did a pretty good job on Friday as he returned with bowling figures of 4-33-2. Both of his wickets came in the final two overs of his spell. Karun Nair, who was cleaned up by a delivery that just nipped back in, was his first victim. Axar followed next, finding himself plumb in front of the stumps.
Andrew Tye: 7/10
Tye bowled pretty well in this match, returning with bowling figures of 1/27 in his four overs. The only wicket that he claimed was that of de Villiers. Hoewever, it probably came too late in the innings to change the result of the match in favour of KXIP. He also added 7 runs with the willow to go with his economical bowling.
Karun Nair: 7/10
Nair stitched an all-important partnership of 58 runs for the fifth wicket with Rahul when Umesh had blown the top order away with his fiery spell. Although he couldn’t bat all the way through the innings, his knock of 29 off 26 deliveries ensured that Rahul had an able partner at the other end.
Chris Woakes: 6/10
Although he was expensive — conceding 27 runs off two overs in his first spell — he came back strong in his second spell, claiming two wickets for nine runs in 1.2 overs. He finished things off with the wicket of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, thus bowling KXIP out for a total of 155.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman: 6/10
The 17-year old kid could well have been on the top of this report card. However, he fell victim to de Villiers’ awesomeness when he smashed him for 16 runs in the 17th over of the innings and thus altered the course of the match completely. But his dismissal of Virat Kohli is one that anyone would want to watch over and over again. He finished with bowling figures of 4-29-1.
Virat Kohli: 6/10
The RCB skipper looked to be in pretty good touch until he was there at the crease. It took a pretty special delivery from 17-year old Mujeeb to dismiss him. However, he played four beautiful shots for boundaries during his short knock of 21 runs off 16 deliveries at the crease.
Mandeep Singh: 5/10
Mandeep Singh walked out to bat at No 6 for RCB and could manage only 22 runs off 19 deliveries when the asking rate was a lot more. If it wasn’t for de Villiers at the other end, RCB might well have been in trouble for this kind of a knock. He was ultimately run-out in the penultimate over of the match.
Yuzvendra Chahal: 5/10
Yuzvendra Chahal, RCB’s most reliable bowler, conceded runs at nearly 10-an-over and could account for the wicket of only Ashwin. Although he wasn't bad with the ball on the day, Rahul and Nair played him beautifully, hitting him to all parts of the ground.
Mayank Agarwal: 4/10
Despite his superb domestic batting form throughout the major portion of the 2017/18 season, Mayank Agarwal hasn’t been off to the best of starts in the IPL. He managed only 15 runs on Friday before falling prey to a piece of beauty from Umesh.
Marcus Stoinis: 3/10
Stoinis’ all round abilities were pretty much under-utilised in this game. He didn’t bowl a single over in this match. Moreover, he managed only 11 runs off nine deliveries towards the end of KXIP innings.
Sarfraz Khan: 2/10
Young Sarfraz Khan accounted for a golden duck in this match. It was Ashwin who induced an outside edge on the very next delivery after dismissing de Kock. A catch to dismiss Mujeeb was the only positive thing for him individually in this match.
Aaron Finch: 1/10
Finch didn’t have the best of outings in his first match of the 2018 season of IPL as he got pinned in front of the stumps by a pacy delivery from Umesh. Finch thus departed for a golden duck and left KXIP in trouble on a score of 32/2 after they got off to a flying start.
Yuvraj Singh: 1/10
Yuvraj got his innings off to a fine start with a well-timed boundary. However, his stay at the crease didn’t last long as he was cleaned up with a ripper of a delivery from Umesh in the fourth over of the KXIP innings.
Mohit Sharma: 1/10
Even though all the KXIP bowlers tried their best to defend their total of 155 with economical spells, Mohit’s expensive spell nullified all their efforts. He conceded 45 runs off just 3.3 overs and thus wasted any chance of victory that KXIP had.
Brendon McCullum: 1/10
McCullum threw away his wicket with a very poor shot on the first delivery he faced. He moved away from the stumps and then tried to slash a wide delivery on the off-stump over covers for a boundary. However, he only ended up giving away a simple catch to Mujeeb.