MUMBAI: Royal Challengers Bangalore chased down 129 against Kolkata Knight Riders in 19.2 overs to seal a three-wicket victory in match 6 of the Indian Premier League. Here are the major highlights from the match –
Feckless top-order: Kolkata’s first three batsmen – Venkatesh Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane and Nitish Rana – played reckless shots to get out. Mohd. Siraj bowled a few good deliveries but Akash Deep wasn’t menacing at all, yet Kolkata gifted three wickets to Bangalore in the Powerplay. Rana, in particular, played an atrocious shot when he should have looked to build the innings.
Hasaranga – the destroyer: Hasaranga came to bowl in the 7th over when Kolkata had already lost three wickets. But he grabbed the most prized wicket when Shreyas Iyer, the captain of Kolkata, tried to smack him for a six but was held out at long-on. In his next over, he prised out Sunil Narine who again made the mistake of slogging Hasaranga mindlessly. The next Seldon Jackson was bowled neck and crop on the first ball which was a well-disguised googly.
Hasarange usually bowled quick through the air with unerring accuracy and didn’t let batsmen free their arms. He flighted the ball when required and deployed variations astutely. Overall, he snapped up 4 scalps for 20 runs in 4 overs and once again fortified his reputation as the best bowler in the world at present in the T20s.
He was ably supported by Harshal Patel who snaffled two wickets.
‘Dre Russ’ and Umesh’s cameos: Andre Russell, fondly called as ‘Dre Russ’, was the only Kolkata batsman who made some contribution of note. Typically, he went hammer and tongs at bowlers the moment he arrived at the crease and tonked three sixes. Umesh Yadav scored useful 18 runs and cobbled up a 27-run partnership, the highest of the innings, with Varun Chakaravarthy for the 10th wicket.
Uproarious Umesh: Umesh is not an all-rounder by any stretch of imagination. But after contributing nicely with the bat, he bowled with supreme control and precision with the new ball. Apart from generating brisk pace, he also extracted springy bounce off the surface to snare Anuj Rawat and Virat Kohli, both of whom nibbled at the ball outside the off-stump and were caught behind.
His uproarious spell reduced Bangalore to 17-3 and gave his team a glimmer of hope of defending 128.
The cliffhanger: After Umesh’s spell, Tim Southee and Sunil Narine also stepped up and smothered Bangalore’s batsmen for runs. Narine gave away only 12 runs in 4 overs, while Southee claimed three wickets. Kolkata’s captain Iyer marshalled his troops with elan and showed terrific tactical nous.
Bangalore batsmen made heavy weather of what looked like an easy chase and the team only got over the line in the last over as Dinesh Karthik clouted Russell for a six and a four.