Sharjah, Oct 13: A venue that favors bowlers has witnessed that batsmen can put big runs on the board. The challenge was taken up by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as they set a target of 194 runs and beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 82 runs here on Monday.
Opted to bat first, the RCB openers - Devdutt Paddikal and Aaron Finch decided to bring stability first rather than scoring big runs. Gradually, the young lad managed to pull boundaries and put the KKR bowlers under pressure. The duo put up 47 in the powerplay and KKR’s search for a breakthrough only ended when Russell castled Padikkal (32), uprooting his middle stump in his second over. RCB lost their first wicket for 67 and KKR then pulled things back, conceding 31 runs in the next four overs. At the halfway stage in the innings, RCB reached 78/1.
The pressure started to build on the RCB batsmen and eventually, Prasidh Krishna dismissed Finch and got out four runs short of a half-century. Varun Chakravarthy, who has been steadily going, had another fine run as he bowled four tight overs for just 25 runs. However, it all started here that Mr 360 lit up the Sharjah sky with six and fours. He had begun to counter KKR bowlers and hit big. In the last five overs, RCB collected awe-struck 83 runs to push their total close to 200. In his 33-ball unbeaten stay, Mr 360 smashed six sixes and five boundaries. The Virat-ABD partnership remained unbroken on 100 from 47 balls.
Setting a target of 195, RCB had a chance to strike early but Navdeep Saini missed to get hold of Shubman Gill out in his first over. The right-arm pacer, however, managed to pick his first wicket of the match as he dismissed the IPL debutant, Tom Banton. Meanwhile, KKR struggled to score runs in the powerplay and managed to score 43 runs. RCB bowlers did not leave the room for KKR to hit big runs as Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar went on to pick four wickets in the space of five overs.
Later on, though Andre Russell pulled off to hit sixes and fours, it did not last long as Isuru Udana sent him back to pavilion. RCB picked two more wickets in the next two overs as KKR continued to slide. While Chris Morris dismissed Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti got out of Chahal’s bowling. Mohammed Siraj joined the wicket-taking club, dismissing Rahul Tripathi. KKR were eventually restricted to 112/9 as RCB clinched a comprehensive 82-run win.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 194/2 (AB de Villiers 73*, Aaron Finch 47; Prasidh Krishna 1/42) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 112/9 (Shubman Gill 34, Andre Russell 16; Chris Morris 2/17) by 82 runs.