A step closer
Royal Challengers Bangalore came a step closer to a semi-final berth after a convincing 7 wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders at Bangalore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore came a step closer to a semi-final berth after a convincing 7 wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders at Bangalore [SCORECARD]. Kumble winning the toss put in the Knights to bat, and things looked like it was a horrible decision as Ganguly's team raced to 100 runs for the loss of only a wicket by the eleventh over itself. The team got of to a brilliant start with Kolkata scoring 61 in the Powerplay thanks to Gayle and Ganguly. This is their highest score in the Powerplay this IPL. RC bowlers struck in the 11th over removing Ganguly and Tiwary, Mathews followed him in quick succession. The middle order fell like a pack of cards, but Brendon McCullum looked in a dangerous mood, playing some very unorthodox shots. Kumble took McCullum in the 16th over as he tried clearing the boundary. KKR lower order then decided to take some suicidal runs and in the end posted 160 for 9 as their score. RCB opened with Kallis and Sriram (a Tamil Nadu player). Kallis was dropped early by Ganguly but failed to make the most of the opportunity as he departed soon after. Dravid came at his legendary first down position and played a simply amazing knock (52 runs of 35 balls). There were trademark Dravid shots with plenty of aggression. His two sixes in a single over, showed that class is permanent no matter the format and established just how big the RC batting is. Robin Uthappa then played a blinder of an innings scoring 50 runs of just 22 balls.
RC bowling finally came good. The bowling has been under immense scrutiny and except Kumble, the others have been very inconsistent. Praveen Kumar took a belting, but the others performed really well. Man of the match, Vinay Kumar bowled his heart out and maintained a very tight line. He bagged 3 wickets. He got able support from Steyn and Kallis who took 1 and 2 wickets respectively. The standout bowler was Anil Kumble who bowled his four overs giving less than 5 runs an over and bagging the all important wicket of McCullum. The bowling looks good and the executions of plans are good like it was in the beginning.
The fielding was good with all the catches being taken, but the ground fielding of certain fielders has to improve.
The batting was exceptional once again and it was a treat to see Dravid get going this IPL. A player who didn't get much opportunity, came out with all guns blazing. Dravid's innings showed that a quality player can adopt to any format and he did that yesterday showing a side that is not often associated with Dravid. His strike rate of almost 150, surely shows that he is game for T20. Robin was also in great touch as he sent the KKR bowlers all over the park. Seeing him switch hit Mendis for two sixes and a four shows just how much confidence the young lad has. Ross Taylor got a few balls to face which will be crucial as the tournament progresses.
RCB are back and with that win are a step closer to the semis.