Virat Kohli hopes victory over Rajasthan can help turn Royal Challengers Bangalore’s season around after a poor start to the campiagn.
Heading into last night’s game in Ahmedabad, Bangalore had won just one of their opening four games and faced a Rajasthan side leading the standing having lost just one of six.
However, a fine display with the ball – led by Mitchell Starc’s 3-22 – and then Kohli (62 not out) and AB De Villiers (47 not out) delivering with the bat fired RCB to an impressive nine-wicket triumph.
“Today’s performance was one any captain would be proud of, & I certainly am.So, happy captain!” says Captain Kohli pic.twitter.com/hY4LHMabJC
— Virat Kohli Hub (@Virat_Hub) April 24, 2015
“We wanted this sort of a performance, this might be a momentum change for us. It’s a well-earned and timely win,” Kohli said.
“We had to pull the intensity up for us, brilliant effort with the ball and on the field. I asked the players to target bowlers they felt comfortable taking on and the guys responded beautifully. We know we can play like this but we can’t wait for things to happen, we have to make them happen.”
RCB had won the toss with Kohli electing to field and although Ajinkya Rahane (18) and Shane Watson (26) made a solid start, it soon became apparent it was the right decision to make.
Rahane was trapped lbw by Harshal Patel before Watson departed eight balls later, pulling Yuzvendra Chalal to Starc at deep midwicket.
The Rajasthan run rate then began to plummet as Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson all fell cheaply and at 89-5 the Royals were in trouble.
Steve Smith’s 31 from 28 balls carried them over the 100-mark but then Starc took control. First he had Smith top edging the first ball of his second spell to Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps, then Stuart Binny fell four balls later for 20.
Patel then removed James Faulkner in the penultimate over, Karthik taking a fabulous catch and Rajasthan limped to 130-9.
Good toss to win for Kohli, super bowling by Starc & Co to restrict Rajasthan to 130. Unforgiveable if Bangalore’s batsmen mess it up now…
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 24, 2015
It was largely one-way traffic in reply, with Rajasthan claiming an early scalp when Watson tempted Gayle into swinging at a slow bouncer. But Kohli and De Villiers though emphasised RCB’s astonishing batting strength by cruising to the total inside 17 overs.
Neither needed to be rash or reckless and while Rajasthan’s bowlers ran out of ideas the all-star duo were there to the end to get the job done.
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