Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 3 wickets at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday to bag their first points of IPL 2022. Chasing 129, RCB were in trouble at 17 for 3 but Sherfane Rutherford led a spirited lower-order revival to deny KKR.
Wanindu Hasaranga was the star for RCB with 4 for 20 while Harshal Patel picked 2 for 11 off his 4 overs. Patel, the Purple Cap winner in 2021, bowled two maidens to strangle KKR after they had lost their top-order to some poor shot selection.
In response, RCB were also off to a poor start. Anuj Rawat fell to Umesh Yadav in the first over while Faf du Plessis was sent back by Trent Boult in the second over of the innings. Umesh then proceeded to get the big wicket of Virat Kohli before David Willey and Sherfane Rutherford steadied the RCB innings with a solid partnership for the 4th wicket.
Sunil Narine lifted KKR’s hopes with the wicket of Willey in the 11th over but Shahbaz Ahmed showed plenty of composure to partner Rutherford as RCB opened their account for IPL 2022 after losing to Punjab Kings in their first match.
KOHLI, FAF FAIL
Royal Challengers Bangalore got off to a horror start in their chase of 129 against Kolkata Knight Riders. Umesh Yadav drew first blood for KKR when he dismissed Anuj Rawat in the first over. Trent Boult then rattled RCB further when he sent back Faf du Plessis in the 2nd over of the RCB innings. du Plessis had scored 88 against Punjab Kings and that wicket boosted KKR’s hopes.
And then in the 3rd over, Umesh Yadav got the big wicket of Virat Kohli as RCB slipped to 17 for 3 in 2.1 overs. By then, wicketkeeper Sheldon Jackson, who fell for a first-ball duck, had taken two catches and KKR were pretty much in the game even after folding for 128. At that point, KKR fans would have undoubtedly thought of that night when RCB were bowled out for 49. Could there be a repeat?
RCB CLAW BACK
David Willey and Sherfane Rutherford stopped the slide for RCB with a steady partnership for the 4th wicket. The pair added 45 runs to calm some nerves in the RCB dressing-room. Willey and Rutherford absorbed the pressure well and the low target meant they did not have to take any undue risks.
Sunil Narine dismissed Willey in his third over to give KKR a glimmer of hope but those hopes were soon dashed by a composed Shahbaz Ahmed who helped Rutherford guide RCB to a comfortable victory eventually.
HASARANGA DESTROYS KKR
Wanindu Hasaranga and Harshal Patel delivered crushing blows on Kolkata Knight Riders after Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and decided to bowl. Hasaranga finished with figures of 4 for 20 off 4 overs including the wickets of Shreyas Iyer and Sunil Narine while Harshal Patel, the Purple Cap winner in 2021, removed Sam Billings and the dangerous Andre Russell. Besides, Harshal was very miserly and his spell comprised two maiden overs. He finished with 2 for 11 off his 4 overs.
KKR stuck to their attack-at-all-costs tactics but nothing worked against RCB on Wednesday. It was startling to see one batter play aggressive shots only to go back to the pavilion. Venkatesh Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Nitish Rana and Shreyas Iyer fell within the first 7 overs. The move to send Sunil Narine up the order did not work for the Knight Riders and Sheldon Jackson, who did not get to bat against Chennai Super Kings, fell for a golden duck.
Andre Russell did threaten to add some impetus to the KKR score but he was done in by Harshal Patel who had done well to tie up the big hitter from the Caribbean.
Umesh Yadav’s cameo did little to give any sense of respectability to the KKR total but the team – they were eventually bowled out for 128.
In the end, KKR’s aggressive intent bore no fruit for them against a bowling attack which was clearly determined to revive itself after an opening defeat to Punjab Kings in a high-scoring match at the same venue a few days back.