Virat Kohli played a captain's knock © AFP
Virat Kohli played a captain’s knock © AFP

Match 29 of ongoing VIVO IPL 2018 saw Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) post 175 for 4 versus Kolkata Knight Riders after being send into bat. Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum provided the desired start before quick breakthroughs derailed their approach. However, skipper Virat Kohli (68*) and Mandeep Singh bailed them out to take the score forward.

De Kock and McCullum had commenced well. While De Kock’s sweep was effective, McCullum took time to get going. Dinesh Karthik resorted to spin from the start, asking his slow men to bowl 4 of the first 5 overs. They kept things under control and bowled plenty of dot balls. But McCullum got into his groove after pouncing on some pace from Mitchell Johnson. Piyush Chawla was then hammered in his third over after an impressive start.

De Kock fell against the run of play. It wasn’t a fluent innings, for he often mistimed his shots. McCullum and Manan Vohra soon followed suit. Birthday Boy Andre Russell accounted for both scalps. McCullum edged a well-aimed short ball, while Vohra got an inside edge to one that rattled his stumps. Both the deliveries were quick and hurried the batsmen.

Kohli and Mandeep got together in the middle to lead the revamp. Kohli looked in ominous touch. Some of his drives, the ones that left fielders stationary, made him a treat to watch. He used his bottom hand to perfection to up the ante in the final overs. Mandeep, on the other hand, was slow to start with but accelerated against Narine before falling for 19. Russell removed him too.

The last 3 overs went for 42, courtesy Kohli. It isn’t the usual 200-plus pitch at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Will RCB spinners exploit the conditions, or KKR batters will prevail owing to shorter boundaries?

Special Mention: Shivam Mavi, after a 4-0-58-1 in the last tie, conceded only 20 from his 3 overs.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore 175 for 4 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 29, Brendon McCullum 38, Virat Kohli 68*; Andre Russell 3 for 31, Kuldeep Yadav 1 for 20) vs Kolkata Knight Riders