RCB won the toss and opted to field first, challenging KXIP to put runs on the board. Holkar Stadium, being a relatively small ground, is known to be a scoring pitch, making it an obvious choice to chase rather than defend.
There was no change in RCB’s lineup (as expected) with the same XI winning them their previous match and giving them the momentum they needed to move forward. In KXIP, Mujeeb ur Rahman, who faced an injury in their last match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, was replaced by Marcus Stoinis. This turned out to be a big blow for the team with their lead mystery spinner out of the picture. Former spinner Anjum Chopra said rightly,
— Anjum Chopra (@chopraanjum) May 14, 2018
KL Rahul (21) and Chris Gayle (18) opened for KXIP as usual. Rahul’s three sixes gave the team a great start until he was dismissed by Umesh Yadav in the fifth over. The young Nagpur bowler went on to be titled “Man of the Match” for his brilliant bowling, taking three crucial wickets. Gayle supported his opening partner with four boundaries, maintaining the run rate but he was taken out in the same over as well. From then onwards, the batsmen fell at regular intervals.
Karun Nair (1) came in to replace Rahul and was immediately sent back to the bleachers by Mohammed Siraj. By the end of the powerplay, two of KXIP’s biggest batsmen were sent off the field and the score was a meager total of 47 runs.
Aaron Finch‘s (26) cameo powered the total to 78 during which his partners, Marcus Stoinis (2) and Mayank Agarwal (2) were taken out one after the other. Finch was soon dismissed by in the twelfth over as Virat Kohli celebrated the crucial catch. The wicket was immediately followed by captain Ashwin‘s golden duck and Andrew Tye‘s bronze duck, giving RCB all the riches they needed to secure a victory well before time.
It was a day of umpire third reviews and run outs as the remaining players – Mohit Sharma (3) and Ankit Rajpoot (1) were chased off the field by the fifteenth over, ending the KXIP’s innings with the second lowest score of this season – 88 for 10.
RCB’s bowling team were on point last night with all six making an integral contribution. Umesh Yadav took two costly wickets one after the other, throwing KXIP off their game. Yuzvendra Chahal also had a good outing allowing the opponents to score only six runs in his two overs. Mohammed Siraj took out Nair before KXIP could process Gayle’s defeat. Moeen Ali took down Finch before he could cause any major damage and also contributed to the concluding run outs. Colin de Grandhomme also did a good job of restricting the Ashwin-led side to only 8 runs in his two overs including Mayank Agarwal’s wicket. Tim Southee let go of a few runs but he made up for it with his help with the ending wicket.
RCB’s victory was ensured before their innings even began. It became a matter of how quickly the match would be won rather than who it would be won by. Captain Virat Kohli (48) and Parthiv Patel (40) opened for the team and remained undefeated. Their combined thirteen boundaries concluded their chase in eight overs.
Andrew Tye was sent in for all of his four overs to attempt to make it a little more challenging for the opponents, but his efforts were no match for the confident Kohli and Patel. The rest of the right-armed bowlers had no luck either as RCB smoothly sailed to a well-needed victory.
This defeat has cost KXIP their place in the top four and has pushed them down to fifth place with 12 points and the lowest net run rate of the eight teams. RCB remains in the seventh position with 10 points and will require massive wins from their remaining two games to have a chance at qualifying for the playoffs.
All in all, not a very entertaining match as KXIP fell like dominoes to RCB’s bowlers and failed to defend themselves. KXIP will be looking to get back into the race in their next match against Mumbai Indians tomorrow at Wankhede Stadium while RCB will hope to continue their winning streak against the first-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last home game on Thursday.
RCB celebrated their victory on Twitter:
What a performance pic.twitter.com/YwoS6tSr4Q
— Moeen Ali (@MoeenAli)