Pathan power spurs KKR

Batsman slams unbeaten 60 to help his side down RCB by five wickets

Pathan power spurs KKR

There was a change in their jerseys for the home game. Chris Gayle was back after a three-match break and skipper Virat Kohli made four changes to his side. But there was no change in Royal Challenger Bangalore’s fortunes as they suffered a five-wicket defeat against the Kolkata Knight Riders here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday. 

Half centuries from Virat Kohli (52) and KL Rahul (52) and a fine cameo from Shane Watson (34) saw RCB post a competitive total of 185/7.

Brutal assaults from Andre Russell (39, 1x4, 4x6) and Yusuf Pathan (60, 29b, 6x4, 3x6) left RCB bowlers in tatters as the Knight Riders finished their task with five balls to spare.

By reducing their opponents to 69/4 in the 11th over, RCB bowlers had done well to have the game under their control, but Pathan and Russell launched a massive attack on the Challengers’ bowlers to help their side finish on the winning side. With 86 needed of the last six overs, Russell smashed Tabraiz Shamsi for two huge sixes and a boundary, and Knight Riders accounted for 18 runs to kickstart the mayhem. Varun Aaron gave away 16 runs in the next over, but the biggest one was reserved for Watson. Pathan tore apart Watson to gather 24 runs and virtually seal the deal for Knight Riders.

The near capacity crowd were denied of the Gayle (6) magic as the big-hitting Jamaican lasted  just seven balls in his return to the Challengers’ team. After four dot balls in the first over of the innings, Gayle got off the mark with a cracking six past bowler Morne Morkel in the third ball of the next, but a miscued pull of the very next ball brought Gayle’s downfall. RCB avoided further trouble, thanks Rahul and Kohli.

The duo was cautious to begin against a disciplined bowling effort from the Knight Riders. After managing 40 runs in the powerplay, RCB shifted gears with Rahul doing the bulk of the scoring. After welcoming Sunil Narine with a classy cover drive in the sixth over, Rahul danced down the track and smashed a straight six of Piyush Chawla in the 10th over.
The stylish Karnataka batsman then sliced the next ball through the point region for a boundary as the Knight Riders looked desperate for a wicket.

Rahul continued his aggressive ways of batting by going after Narine in the 11th over. The 24-year-old swept Narine for a six over square leg boundary and followed it up with a cheeky reverse sweep to bring up his half century, coming of just 29 balls. The Knight Riders saw the back of Rahul in the very next over when his attempted slog of Chawla failed to clear Pathan at deep covers.    

De Villiers was undone by a faster one by Chawla in the 14th over and RCB had a long way to go in their quest to post a daunting total. Skipper Kohli notched up his fourth half-century of the tournament with a 42-ball fifty and RCB’s lower order then produced the much needed blitz to help them finish well.
 

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