IPL 2019, KKR vs RCB: Royal Challengers Bangalore survive Andre Russell rampage to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 10 runs

Andre Russell clobbered a whirlwind 65 off 25 balls, but this time it was not enough as Royal Challengers Bangalore trumped Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens to claim their second win of the season, defending a total of 213/4.

It was Moeen Ali’s blistering 27-ball 66 that had set base for what turned out to be a stunning assault by Virat Kohli (100) in the death overs to help RCB to a massive total, but Kohli and RCB would have been vary of the Russell threat, and they managed to stave off the West Indian. Nitish Rana also played a magnificent hand of 85 off 46 balls, but failed to arrest his team’s slide that now stands at four consecutive losses.

Chasing the big total, KKR lost Chris Lynn early to Dale Steyn in the very first over, with a slower one that Lynn chipped to mid-off fielder Virat Kohli. Sunil Narine was kept quiet by some terrific bowling from Steyn and Navdeep Saini up front and Naine departed to Saini, caught behind for 18 off 16 ball. (HIGHLIGHTS: KKR vs RCB)

No.3 Shubman Gill succumb to Steyn, again caught by Kohli at mid-off for nine. Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa then struged in the middle to time ball and even while running between the wickets KKR allowed the asking rate to creep up. (SCORECARD: KKR vs RCB)

Mohammad Siraj and Marcus Stoinis were tidy in the middle overs and by the time Uthappa got out for a sloe nine off 20 balls, KKR had managed just 79 in 11.5 overs. With 133 required off 48 balls, Andre Russell joined Rana in the middle who got his eye in and started to open up, reaching 33 off 23 balls.

Russell began with a six off Yuzvendra Chahal and then tonked the wrist spinner for three straight maximums in the 15th over to bring the equation down to 93 off 30 balls. Rana joined in the act with a four and two sixes off Saini’s final over. Siraj’s final was taken for a six and four by Russell before Rana took on Steyn two sixes and four. Yet the equation was a stiff 43 off 12 balls.

Stoinis was entrusted with the 19th over of the chase even though he started well with three dots first up – apart from a wide –  Russell managed to muscle his way to three sixes, to take 19 off the over and also score the fastest fifty of IPL 2019.

Kohli then called on the experince of Moeen Ali in the final over and after giving away just one run in the first two balls to Nitish Rana, he got crucial dot against Russell off the fourth delivery, to take a KKR win out of the equation.

It was Moeen who played a crucial innings with the bat earlier in the night. Prompted up the order at No.4 in the absence of AB de Villiers – left out due to a mild concussion – Moeen scored his third IPL fifty and build momentum for his team and then Kohli ransacked 64 runs in the last four overs for RCB en route to his fifth IPL hundred that came off 57 balls.

Opting to bowl first Kolkata, in the middle of a three-match losing rut, got off to good start with Sunil Narine removing Parthiv Patel in the fourth over – caught at deep square leg by Nitish Rana. But, Kohli was up and running quickly scoring three fours by the end of the over.

Young Akshdeep Nath found himself batting at No.3 and even though he got going with a sublime six off Prasidh Krishna over cow corner he failed to convert his start, departing for 13 off 15 balls to Andre Russell in the ninth over. Moeen though looked in ominous touch and started off with a six off Kuldeep Yadav over long-on.

Kohli, at the other end, then donned the sheet anchor’ role and watched Moeen accelerate. He hit Piyush Chawla for a six followed by a a six and four of Kuldeep in his his third over. With 32 off three overs, Dinesh Karthik would have been better off finihsing Kuldeep’s spell there, but he didn’t and the young World Cup-bound star’s fourth over went for a massive 27 runs with Moeen helping himself to three sixes and two fours.

Even though Kuldeep got Moeen out in the same over, the damage was already done.

Kohli then upped the ante with the final four overs to go and along with Marcus Stoinis he added 64 runs for the fifth fourth wicket. Kohli who had reached his fifty off 40 balls, scored his next 50 runs in just 16 balls.

Kuldeep had a forgetable day with ball and in he field with a host of misfields and finished with 4-0-59-1, the joint-worst figures in terms of runs for a spinner in the IPL. Russell was the most economical with 1/17 in his three overs.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 213/4 (Virat Kohli 100, Moeen Ali 66; Andre Russell 1/17) vs Kolkata Knight Riders