KKR pin down sloppy RCB

EFFORT IN VAIN Royal Challengers Bangalore players celebrate the dismissal of Kolkata Knight Riders Robin Uthappa during their IPl game on Sunday. DH PHOTO/ SRIKANTA SHARMA R

The Royal Challengers Bangalore aren’t just finding a solution to their bowling woes. They are also slowly running out of luck too.

Defending a competitive 175, RCB missed a great chance to go on the attack in the seventh over. Kolkata Knight Riders’ Chris Lynn attempted a big hit of Yuzvendra Chahal but found a thick edge. Murugan Ashwin at cover had a simple task of pouching it. He dropped it!

Lynn, who was on seven when he received a reprieve, remained unbeaten on 62 as Kolkata inflicted more pain on RCB with a six-wicket victory here at the Chinnaswamy on Sunday. Kolkata’s win was on the back of a breezy 59-run opening stand between Lynn and Sunil Narine (27). RCB’s bowling came a cropper once again as pacers offered half-volleys and short balls at will.

Put to bat, RCB’s quest to rake up a huge total didn’t go as per plans. The host missed A B de Villiers, who sat out due to viral fever. At 75/3 at the end of the half-way stage, it was left to Virat Kohli to resurrect the innings and he delivered, yet again.

The skipper slammed a calculative unbeaten 68 (44b, 5x4, 3x6) on a tricky surface for batsmen to help RCB post a competitive 175 for four in 20 overs. KKR’s spin-heavy attack kept things tight with chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (1/20) being the most economical bowler.

Two delightful drives to the boundary set the tone for Kohli. He adjusted to the pace of the wicket and found gaps brilliantly. The fact that a couple of shots to the fence looked too simple underlined Kohli’s class. The right-hander crushed Andre Russell’s confidence two cracking flat sixes. If the first one was a typical bottom-handed jab over long-on, Kohli shuffled across and smashed one over the same region. Kohli pulled the last ball of the innings to the stands to wrap up his superb knock in style.

Earlier, openers Brendon McCullum (38) and Quinton de Kock (29) gave RCB their best opening partnership of the season with a 67-run stand. It was a responsible start on a slow pitch. Kolkata’s disciplined bowling made the job difficult for the pair. De Kock swept Sunil Narine for three fours but the wily spinner gave KKR the breakthrough in the ninth over. De Kock came down the track and attempted a big inside-out shot but failed to get the distance, and holed out at deep cover.

McCullum didn’t bat with his usual aggression but he opened up after the Power Play. After a six over mid-wicket of Kuldeep in the seventh over, McCullum got the big over he was looking for. He went after leg-spinner Piyush Chawla in the eighth over and succeeded, hitting two fours and a six.

McCullum’s intentions were clear but Andre Russell’s (3/31) twin burst in the 10th over put the hosts in a spot of bother. McCullum mistimed a pull and departed caught behind while Manan Vohra, back in the XI, dragged one on to his stumps.

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KKR pin down sloppy RCB

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