Virat Kohli was gaining in confidence with every match in IPL 2019 and it was just a matter of time he producing his class and unfortunately for KKR it happened against them, especially in a game they needed to win to keep the prospects of reaching play-offs high.
Kohli’s thunderous hundred along with a blazing half-century from Moeen Ali powered RCB to their only second win in IPL season 12 as they defended 213 against a freak Russell storm (65 off 24 balls) and Rana (85 off 46 balls) special innings.
The start for Bangalore though was very quiet. Parthiv Patel scored 11 runs off 11 balls and was dismissed in the fourth over while trying to whack Sunil Narine. Akshdeep Nath made 13 off 15 balls as RCB was 59 for two wickets in 8.5 overs.
And then Moeen Ali happened. Moeen hammered 66 runs off just 28 balls to propel RCB’s innings in the middle overs. Kohli who kept the other end secured from the beginning went berserk in the death overs as RCB slammed 91 runs in the last five overs.
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In response KKR had a disastrous start. Dale Steyn, RCB’s latest recruit, sent back Chris Lynn in the first over while Nitin Saini dismissed Narine in the fourth over. In the next over Shubman Gill gave a catch to Kohli against Steyn and KKR were tottering at 33 for 3 after five overs.
Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana then ate precious overs to rebuilt the innings and this partnership probably costed Kolkata the game. The duo added just 46 runs off 41 balls as Uthappa scored nine runs from 20 balls.
Russell walked to the crease with KKR needing 135 runs from 49 balls, required rate of 16.53, a task daunting even for the likes of Russell. But once again the KKR batsman proved his worth as he kept Kolkata in the game until the 20th over by smashing nine sixes.
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Rana two clobbered Steyn for 18 runs in the 18th over to give Russell vital company. The duo added 118 runs in 48 balls and created hopes of delivering an impossible win for Kolkata. But Moeen delivered an incredible last over defending 23 in four balls against Russell as RCB won a rare game in IPL 2019.