Despite a late onslaught from Andre Russell, RCB held on in the final few moments to record their second win of the season in a match at Eden Gardens on Friday. A Virat Kohli century had taken RCB to 213 and Kolkata seemed out of the game in the run-chase until Nitish Rana and Russell came together. Eventually though, the hosts fell short by ten runs eventually.
Check out some of the best moments from the match:
Virat Kohli's funny act to stop Narine from 'mankading' him
In the 18th over of the innings, Sunil Narine ran into bowl and despite completing his run-up, did not deliver the ball. Kohli at the non-striker's end firmly showed him that his bat was within the crease and went on to smile at Narine.
After Ravichandran Ashwin's 'mankading' of Jos Buttler earlier in the season, batsmen have been wary of backing up too much. Kohli, though, had his bat well within the crease and emphasised his point in a funny way, later laughing and gesturing to the dugout that Narine might have been attempting a mankad.
Kuldeep Yadav in tears after Moeen Ali onslaught
Kuldeep Yadav has been in shoddy form for Kolkata Knight Riders this season, leaking runs and not picking up enough wickets. On Friday, he was at the receiving end of a scything onslaught from Moeen Ali. The wrist spinner was tonked for a six over long-on off the first ball of his second over by the England all-rounder but he came back strong and ripped one past his edge off the last ball of the over.
When he came back for a third over, Ali slog swept him over mid-wicket for six and followed it up with a deft shot through third man for four. The all-rounder wasn't done, and in the final over of Kuldeep, he smoked three sixes and two fours off the first five balls. The Kolkata spinner dismissed him off the final ball but Ali had taken 26 from the over and a whopping 45 runs off 15 balls against him in the match. The timeout that followed showed visuals of Kuldeep shedding tears, clearly upset by his figures of 4-0-59-1.
Virat Kohli, the century-maker
RCB have been guilty of withering away after strong starts this season and despite the platform Moeen Ali and Kohli had built, the dismissal of the former meant the onus was on Kohli to take the visitors to a score above 200 on a flat surface at Eden Gardens. On 55 off 42 balls until Ali's dismissal in the 16th over, Kohli changed gears swiftly in the final four overs.
In the next 16 balls he faced over the last four overs, Kohli smacked 45 runs with four fours and three sixes. The strike rate went from 130.95 to 281.25 after Ali's dismissal as he took RCB to their highest total in the season. Kohli completed a century in the final over, his fifth in the IPL and first since 2016.
Dale Steyn's near-perfect comeback
Dale Steyn had last played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2010 and when called in as an injury replacement this season for Nathan Coulter-Nile, RCB were banking on him to fix some of their bowling woes. Taking the new ball in the run-chase, Steyn produced a peach of a delivery first up that swung away from Chris Lynn to eke out an outside edge but Marcus Stoinis at first slip shelled a regulation catch much to the disappointment of the RCB contingent.
Steyn nearly struck off his very first ball after nine years for RCB but it was not to be. The South African was persistent, though, and after five balls in the range of 140 kmph, Steyn slowed up the final ball and deceived Lynn, who went for a shot down the ground but miscued it to long-off where Kohli took an easy catch.
Two juggling catches
While Kuldeep for KKR and Marcus Stoinis and Yuzvendra Chahal for RCB were sloppy in the field, the match also witnessed two terrific catches in either innings by Nitish Rana and Virat Kohli. In the first innings, Parthiv Patel went for a swipe across the line against Narine and miscued the ball to deep mid-wicket where Rana juggled the ball a bit before completing a fine catch. Rana had covered ground to get to the ball and despite an initial slip, recovered quickly enough to keep the ball in the air with a few juggles and finally caught it.
In the run-chase, Virat Kohli pulled off another juggling act to get rid of Shubman Gill. The young Kolkata batsman looked to take on Steyn and hit straight to mid-off where Kohli had to jump to his left to complete the catch. He timed his jump well but the ball slipped out from his right hand. Kohli recovered pretty quickly and eventually completed the catch with his left hand.
Another Dre Russ show
Kolkata appeared down and out of the game after Robin Uthappa's ridiculously slow innings. Making nine of 20 balls, he was dismissed in the 12th over of the innings when Andre Russell walked out to bat. Kolkata needed 135 in 8.1 overs at this stage and even with the kind of death bowling resources RCB had, this seemed well out of KKR's reach.
Russell wasn't prepared to let go without a fight. He went on an another rampage against the same attack he had pulverised earlier in the season to gun down a 200-plus total. Russell smashed nine sixes and two fours in a belligerent 25-ball 65 to take the game down to the wire. Ably supported by Nitish Rana, the duo added 118 runs in eight overs before Russell was run-out in the final over. With 23 needed off four balls, Russell hit a six against Moeen Ali but missed the next ball before being run-out. Kolkata lost by ten runs but yet again, Russell showed that no total was completely out of his reach.
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