The Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers looked clueless as power-hitters Andre Russell and Yusuf Pathan played an amazing innings to help Kolkata Knight Riders emerge triumphant by five wickets on Monday. With this victory, KKR have jumped to second spot in the IPL 2016 standings, with 10 points.
On the contrary, this loss has resulted in yet another disappointment for RCB, who have now lost five matches in the competition. Had it not been for the heroics of Russell and Pathan, RCB would have emerged victorious. The RCB bowlers came up with an improved performance, but Pathan was on a league of his own, scoring 29-ball 60, to script a sensational win.
KKR, chasing 186 to win, were required to start brightly, and the team were dependent on openers, Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir, but the right-hander was out in the first over. They lost their second wicket in the form of Chris Lynn with KKR's score reading 34 runs in the fifth over. KKR scored 37 runs in the Powerplay, which was not exactly what they were looking for.
Though Gambhir was trying his best to score quick runs, the skipper also lost his wicket for 37 runs, and KKR were in further trouble as Manish Pandey was held in the deep for 8 runs.
Hence, there was huge pressure on Russell and Pathan as they had to score more than 11 runs per over, with more than nine overs left The duo did hit some lusty blows, increasing KKR's chances of victory as they scored 18 runs in the 15th over as well. However, they still had to score 63 runs from 30 balls, which was possible with power-hitters Russell and Pathan at the batting crease.
Both the batsmen were striking the ball cleanly and the RCB bowlers looked helpless against the duo's onslaught as they scored 24 runs in the 17th over. The match was in KKR's bag as they just required 23 runs from 18 balls. KKR reached the target with five balls to spare. Pathan remained unbeaten on 60 runs from 29 balls.
Earlier, Chris Gayle disappointed with the bat once again, scoring seven runs only, but KL Rahul and Virat Kohli looked brilliant during the Powerplay. They scored 40 runs in the first six overs. Both the batsmen played some brilliant shots, but Rahul was out in the 12 over, with the team's score reading 92.
Rahul had done his job, scoring 32-ball 52, which comprised six fours and two sixes. However, AB de Villiers, who has looked brilliant in IPL 2016, failed this time, scoring four runs only. With Kohli also dismissed in the 17th over for 52 runs, RCB did not look in great position as they had just piled 129 runs then.
But rest of the RCB batsmen shouldered responsibility, as Shane Watson and Sachin Baby took the attack to the opposition, dealing in fours and sixes. Despite the dismissal of Baby, Stuart Binny played a crucial cameo of 16 runs from 4 balls, which helped RCB reach 185 runs from their 20 overs.
However, the score did not prove to be enough as Pathan and Russell shone brightly to emerge victorious in Bengaluru.