Its KXIP vs. RCB, the reverse fixture for this match ended in a super-over, and that’s enough to hype you for what’s in store for this match. RCB won the toss and elected to bat first. RCB were unchanged following their impressive victory against KKR. On the other hand, KXIP made three changes to their line-up. Gayle came in for his first match of the season, as did the batting allrounder Deepak Hooda and the legspinner M Ashwin. Mandeep Singh, who’s injured, Prabhsimran Singh, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, missed out in this match.
RCB with a great start
Finch and Padikkal came out to open the RCB batting. KXIP started off with a surprise, bringing on Maxwell to open the bowling. It was a clear tactic to target Devdutt Padikkal, whose strike rate against spin this season hasn’t been great. On the other hand, Finch has been great against spin and proved it by finishing the over with a six. RCB openers continued with their hard-hitting, completing 38 runs in the first four overs.
RCB were handed their first blow in the form of Padikkal, who fell of the bowling of Arshdeep Singh. After the fall of the first wicket out came Virat Kohli, who also happened to be playing his 200th match for the RCB. Kohli started off well, hitting three fours in his first seven balls. RCB were 57/1 after the powerplay.
Finch was dismissed just after the powerplay. A quick leg break from M Ashwin did the trick for Finch. RCB decided to promote Sundar up the order, holding the in-form AB De Villers back. However, the move to promote Sundar didn’t work out as was dismissed by his Tamil Nadu team-mate M Ashwin’s googly. RCB were 88/3 after the end of 11 overs.
No signs of De Villers yet as Dube came out to bat. Another tactical error on RCB’s end. Dube scored 8 off his first 12 balls, after the strategic timeout Dube gets the strike and he smacks Ravi Bishnoi for two big, leg-side sixes. RCB were 122 for 3 after the end of 15 overs.
Bowling change from KXIP saw the introduction of Chris Jordan. The change worked as Jordan bounces out Dube for 23 off 19. De Villers finally came out to bat with 4 overs remaining.
Morris helps RCB cross a decent total
Kohli started his innings with three boundaries in the first seven balls, however, Kohli stopped trying to hit boundaries, for most part, and tried to push the ball around for singles through the middle overs. The idea was to take on Kings XI’s death bowling, which has been pretty poor through the season.
However, this idea was completely ruined by Shami who dismissed Kohli and De Villers in the 18th over. De Villers was dismissed for 2 of 5, after he sliced an attempted big hit, to extra-cover. Kohli fell two balls later, edging a slower bouncer to the keeper. He was dismissed for 48 off 39.
Shami was smashed for 24 runs in the final over which helped RCB to post a decent total. Morris finishes unbeaten on 25 off 8 in the process. RCB finished 171 for 6. However, they would they were 15-20 runs short of the target they would have hoped to achieve.
KXIP with a firey start
Rahul and Agarwal came out to open for the KXIP. Many would have thought that the introduction of Gayle would have seen an introduction of a new opening pair. RCB kept Rahul and Agarwal on a leash in the first three overs. The combination of Morris and Navdeep Saini kept things tight for the RCB.
Yuzvendra Chahal was introduced into the bowling in the 4th over and Agarwal goes after him straightaway, hitting him for a six over wide long-off and two fours, shoveled over midwicket and lofted over extra-cover. Kings XI completed the powerplay 56 for no loss.
Chahal got his revenge in the eight over. A tossed up delivery just outside leg stump, inviting Agarwal to hit him over the leg side immediately after conceding a straight six. Agarwal goes across the line and misses. Agarwal was dismissed for 45 off 25.
Kings Xi were 78 for 1 in eight overs, as Chris Gayle joined Rahul at the crease. Gayle started off slow, making just six of the first 14 balls. However, Rahul continued to score runs from the other end taking the total of KXIP 103 for 1 at the end of 14 overs.
Rahul went on to complete 50 off 37 balls, and that’s how much Kings XI needed. Gayle’s struggle against spin is a known fact. However, once spin was over, and Gayle smoked Siraj for a four and a six down the ground, and then Rahul slogged him for a massive six over midwicket. Punjab were 146 for 1 after the end of 16 overs. Gayle completed his half-century in the 17th over. With 11 required from the last three, Punjab was in a comfortable spot to win.
KXIP went on to win the game in the final ball of the match almost making another super over possible. Chahal bowled the last over with only 2 runs to defend which was next to impossible and almost pulled it off. In fact, the last ball went just over the ropes missing the hands of Chris Morris.
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