Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore were crushed by Lokesh Rahul’s Kings XI Punjab. The Bangalore captain had to cover his face with the shame of losing the match by 96 runs.
Kohli did not do well in the whole match. The Dale Steyn-Navdeep Sainis could not keep the Punjab captain calm. The batsmen of Bangalore came and went to chase the run of Punjab. Even more embarrassing is the fact that Rahul’s personal 132 runs could not be surpassed by Kohli-AB de Villiers-Aaron Finch rich batting line-up. Punjab climbed the hill with 206 runs courtesy of Rahul’s devastating 132 runs off just 69 balls. Batting in reply, Bangalore’s innings ended at 109 runs.
Bangalore’s very strong batting on paper. In the 2016 IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders defeated that team by 49 runs at Eden Gardens. On this day, Punjab shattered the confidence of Bangalore. Forgetting the grief of this rate and turning around in the next matches is now a big challenge for Kohli.
Punjab lost to Delhi Capitals in the first match of the tournament. In that match, Rahul made 21 runs from 19 balls. He was dismissed in the super over. On this day, the Punjab captain seemed to atone for him. He went down to open against Bangalore and remained on the wicket till the last over. Marlene hit 14 boundaries and seven sixes. The last ball of the 20th over also flew into the gallery.
On the way to Kohli’s 132 against Rahul’s team, however, Rahul got his life twice. Kohli himself has caught him twice. Once for 63 runs. 69 runs for the second time. After getting a life, Kohli’s teammate in the Indian team did not have to look back. Rahul took 60 runs in the last 3 overs of the innings. Those three overs knocked Bangalore out of the match.
Opponents like Dale Steyn, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini. Rahul got down to open and started the innings. Didn’t lean towards big shot play in the beginning. After the honeymoon period at the crease, Rahul took a selfie. The more the innings go on, the more the Punjab captain’s bat shines. Rahul has practically played with the bowlers of Bangalore. Maybe T20 cricket. That said, he didn’t play a single cricket shot. Cricket was behind every shot. In terminology, everything is a ‘clean hit’. After getting his life back, Rahul put on more gear. It seemed that the Stan-Sainis could not catch where to throw the ball. Sometimes by the short ball, sometimes by slowing down and trying with slower. But Rahul could not be suppressed. Incidentally, the first century in this IPL came from L Rahul’s bat.
Nothing went right for Bangalore to chase this mountainous run of Punjab. Finch made 20, Cottrell sent captain Kohli back for just one run. De Villiers did 26 to get the match out of a very difficult situation. Washington made a beautiful maximum of 30. Ravi Vishnu of Punjab, Murugan Ashwin’s spin injured Bangalore’s batting. Both took three wickets each. Punjab won a ‘huge’ victory in Dubai.