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Royal Challengers Bangalore have now got consecutive victories and are alive and kicking in the race to the playoffs. RCB delivered their best performance of the this year's VIVO IPL beating the KXIP emphatically by 10 wickets. Winning the toss, Virat decided to bowl first and his bowlers justified his decision in unison. The bowlers folded the Punjab side for a meager 88 runs in 15.1 overs and then the two openers, Virat and Parthiv finished things off in a jiffy without any hiccups.
Umesh Yadav was adjudged the man of the match for his brilliant bowling spell of 4-0-23-3. Though Umesh was the pick of the bowlers, there were other performances that led to the stunning display of cricket by RCB. Let's have a look at 6 such performances.
Umesh had already put the KXIP on the back foot by striking twice in the 4th over sending both their openers back. Siraj came in the next over and struck on the 2nd ball of the over itself. Karun Nair, who's had a wonderful domestic season recently was dismissed when he tried to guide a shortish delivery past Kohli at 1st slip but ended up giving a regulation catch to him. That wicket had put the KXIP in serious trouble as they were 3 wickets down within the powerplay itself. Siraj finished with a spell of 3-017-1.
Chahal came to bowl the first over after the powerplay and was expected to add on to the good start RCB were already off to. With 3 wickets down, KXIP were looking to build a partnership with the two Australians, Finch, and Stoinis at the crease. Stoinis was new to the crease and Chahal decided to throw in a googly to him. Stoinis was deceived more by the flight and couldn't judge the length and ended up yorking himself. The ball sneaked under his bat and Chahal got an important wicket to his name. He only got to bowl 2 overs in the match but was very economical in his 2 overs giving away just 6 runs and picking up one wicket.
Since his inclusion in the eleven, de Grandhomme has been consistently contributing with whatever limited opportunities he gets. He kept things simple with the ball and bowled tight lines. He consistently hit the right areas giving away nothing to the KXIP batsmen. When he came on to bowl, it was Mayank Aggarwal and Aaron Finch still on the crease and KXIP rest their hopes on them for a revival. Grandhomme shattered all their hopes as he dismissed Mayank in his first over and added more misery to the Punjab's innings. In the two overs he bowled, he gave away just 8 runs and picked up one wicket.
4) Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali has fared well with the ball in almost all the matches he played. Today when he came to bowl, he got a rather harsh welcome from Finch as he deposited the very first ball off Moeen into the stands for a six. But that remained the only loose delivery by Mo in the entire match. He came back strongly and got rid of Finch in that very over itself. Finch has the ability to turn the game in his team's favor single-handedly and his wicket was like the final nail in the coffin for KXIP to reach any sort of respectable total. Moeen ended with his figures reading 2.1-0-13-1.
Chasing a well below par total of 88, RCB openers came in with no pressure as such. However, given the situation RCB are in this tournament, it was an opportunity for them to win big to better their net run rate. Kohli and Parthiv started off brilliantly and showed positive intent right from the start. Though Virat ended up as the top scorer of the match, Parthiv was no behind. He remained unbeaten on 40 off just 22 deliveries scoring at a strike rate of 181.82 which was higher than that of Kohli.
6) The fielding unit
RCB's fielding was always under scrutiny with some poor show on the field in the previous outings. When the players took to the field against KXIP, all of them were high in intensity. They put pressure on the KXIP batsmen by making those crucial stops and were always on their toes. They affected 3 run outs which is a rarity in the T20 format and stemmed the flow of runs. They came on to the ball swiftly and released it in no time. There catching was on point too barring an initially dropped chance of Gayle by Parthiv which didn't prove too costly in the end.