Indore, May 14: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli has often berated the bowling attack for his team's poor show, even once calling it 'criminal' last month for leaking runs in the death overs. The captain's words appears to have been heard by his bowling unit as they set up a big 10-wicket run over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Holkar Stadium in Indore on Monday (May 14) and kept him team in the running for a spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) playoffs.
Umesh Yadav's three for 23 and Moeen Ali's quick reactions at the bowler's end restricted KXIP to 88 all out, the second lowest total this IPL 2018. Mumbai Indians were bowled out for 87 against Sunrisers Hyderabad last month.
Kohli (48 n.o) and Parthiv Patel (40 n.o) then mastered the chase, finishing off the proceedings in just 8.1 overs as KXIP suffered their fifth defeat in six games.
R Ashwin and his KXIP bowling unit barely posed a challenge as the RCB openers made merry in the small ground. While Patel picked the gaps in the deep cover region as well as the fine leg area, Kohli loved to play shots around the park. Both openers had a lifeline each - Kohli was even dropped on 18 by Aaron Finch and Patel survived being caught in the deep by Mayank Agarwal on 32.
That wouldn't have mattered anyway as it was entirely RCB's day. It was a rare occasion where the entire RCB bowling unit contributed to the team in a must-win game. RCB now have 10 points in 12 games, while KXIP are still third on 12.
KXIP have slipped to the 5th position, making KKR and RR come to 3rd and 4th games respectively!— AkShAtA (@MenInBlueDvotee) May 14, 2018
Such is the beauty of IPL.#KXIPvRCB
Umesh, who has been the wreaker in chief for the Royal Challengers with 14 wickets prior to this game, provided the breakthroughs in the powerplay. KL Rahul, KXIP's topscorer with 558 runs, played some exquisite shots in the beginning and looked set. But when he tried to repeat a hook through the deep square leg, he was snapped up by Colin de Grandhomme for 21 off 15.
Chris Gayle was dropped on zero by wicketkeeper Patel, who couldn't hold onto to the nick despite stretching out to his left. He got lucky again off the first ball of the third over by Umesh with his edge not carrying to Patel. The Jamaican enjoyed a couple of hits before being caught at deep square leg by Mohammed Siraj in the fifth over. Third time lucky Umesh was.
KXIP then lost wickets at regular intervals with their middle order failing to show up in the big game again. Siraj took over the ball to dismiss Karun Nair two balls later, inducing a nick which carried to Kohli at slip. Leg-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal flung a yorker at Marcus Stoinis to send him back in the sixth. The bad run continued for Mayank too. He was unlucky to get an edge to the wicketkeeper while trying to flick Colin de Grandhomme in the ninth over. KXIP yet managed to accumulate 65 runs after 10 overs, thanks to big-hitting Australian Finch.
This is the first 10 wicket victory in #IPL2018 RCB beat KXIP in a must-win game.— #Sports InsiderDaily (@SportsInsiderD) May 14, 2018
Run Rate before the start of the game: -0.261
Run Rate after the win against KXIP: +0.218
A good confidence win for Royal Challengers Bangalore to keep them alive in the tournament. #KXIPvRCB pic.twitter.com/P4CK9O7mYJ
Finch struck a beautiful six over deep midwicket to a short ball off Ali in the 12th over. He tried the same shot again but fell short, the ball falling to Kohli. Punjab then crumbled, making just 10 more runs. KXIP captain Ashwin looked to take a single after playing to substitute fielder Pawan Negi at covers, but is sent back by Axar Patel and wicketkeeper Patel manages to run him out.
Umesh returned to the attack as RCB looked to quickly finish things off. In his final over, he removed Andrew Tye, a top-edge that flew behind to Patel. Ali then reacted quickly to dismiss Mohit Sharma and Ankit Rajpoot and restrict Punjab to 88. Both of them failed to stretch out and dive while rushing to the non-striker's end.