RCB survive early shocks to log in first win
By Gautam Bhattacharyya, Senior Associate Editor
Kolkata: A low scoring game, which had both pacers and spinners calling the shots, eventually saw Royal Challengers Bangalore log in their first points of IPL 2022 with a three-wicket victory at the DY Patil Stadium this evening.
Chasing a below-par target of 129 from Kolkata Knight Riders, RCB were off to a disastrous start when they lost skipper Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli and other opener Anuj Rawat with only 17 runs on the board. Seasoned Umesh Yadav was at it again, while New Zealander Tim Southee brought in all his experience in his first game this this season.
A 47-run stand for the fourth wicket between David Willey and Sherfane Rutherford, followed by a 39-run stand between the West Indian and Shahbaz Ahmed eventually put on them on course.
A twist in the tale?
Hasaranga's departure has again opened up a window of opportunity for KKR. Two able customers, Karthik and Harshal are still there in the middle though.
Shahbaz Ahmed relieves RCB of pressure
Shahbaz Ahmed, the wiry Bengal allrounder, who was sent ahead of DK - took on Russell for two huge sixes to put his team well on course for the target. He then lifted Chakravarthy over mid wicket and RCB has now crossed the 100-run mark.
Rutherford, Willey hold forth
After the double-blow of losing Faf and Kohli and opener Rawat earlier, RCB were reeling at 17 for three. Sherfane Rutherford & David Willey are playing some sensible cricket and have taken the score past the 50-mark at first strategic timeout. The target is small and there is still enough depth in batting left with the likes of Karthik, Harshal Patel and Hasaranga to come.
Telling blows by Umesh Yadav, Southee
A sensational start by KKR new ball bowlers. Senior paceman Umesh Yadav is on song as he gets opener Anuj Rawat early, then follows it up with a gem on the off-stump channel which induces the nick from Kohli. Southee, meanwhile, gets a leading edge off Faf's bat and Rahane completes the catch at backward point. The extra bounce on this wicket is certainly making a difference.
RCB in pole position after bowling KKR out for 128
By Gautam Bhattacharyya, Senior Associate Editor
Kolkata: A magical haul of 4-20 by Wanindu Hasaranga, along with excellent support from the other Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers, helped them restrict Kolkata Knight Riders to a below-par total of 128 at the DY Patil Stadium this evening.
Sent into bat, the Knights batters struggled all the way against some disciplined bowling while a number of poor shot selections also damaged their chances early on in the innings. A cheeky 27-run stand between tailenders Umesh Yadav and Varun Chakravarthy took them to near the 130-mark, which looks inadequate on this track.
It all depends on if Tim Southee & Co can provide an early breakthrough, as KKR has the mystery spin twins in Sunil Narine and Chakravarthy.
Harshal plays on Russell's patience
Harshal Patel vindicated RCB's faith on him as he was one of the few players to be retained this season. After playing on Russell's patience with four dot balls, he induces a false stroke from him and erstwhile teammate DK completes the catch. A 125-ish total, which KKR can hope at best, is certainly not going to be enough.
RCB very much in control
Tonight's contest at DY Patil Stadium has been a different story so far. Wanindu Hasaranga scalps Narine, Jackson in one over and this brings in Andre Russell. The West Indian faces a Hobson's Choice about his approach as he now has only Sam Billings as the last of the recognised batsmen - and it's only the halfway mark.
Narine, Billings in repair job
Unlike the first match, the KKR batting line-up is being being tested today. Captain Shreyas Iyer, their man in form, wanted to take on Hasaranga too early in his innings and paid the penalty. It's now left to the hit-and-miss approach of Sunil Narine and the astute Sam Billings.
Knights on backfoot after powerplay
Nitish Rana miscues a pull and becomes the third KKR wicket to fall inside powerplay. The Knights have failed to take advantage of the field restrictions with some faulty shot selection - managing 44 for three.
Venkatesh Iyer falls
Knights lose Venkatesh cheaply again. The tall left-hander, who was being kept on a leash by some disciplined bowling, was cramped by the extra bounce in Akash Deep's delivery as he went for the pull and the bowler completes a c & b dismissal. RCB attack has been very disciplined during the powerplay.
Tim Southee in
KKR make one change as Tim Southee, the senior Kiwi paceman, comes in place of Shivam Mavi. RCB, meanwhile, are fielding an unchanged side - keeping faith in the combination which went down in the first game.
RCB opt to bowl
Faf du Plessis wins the toss and decides to have a bowl as the dew factor is expected to play it's part here as well - his counterpart Shreyas Iyer says he would have done the same. The wicket looks a shade drier than Sunday's game, but it is still expected to be a batter's paradise.
Kolkata: A run-fest is likely on the cards when Royal Challengers Bangalore takes on Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 6 of IPL 2022 at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai this evening.
The venue, which saw Punjab Kings chase down a 200-plus target against RCB on Sunday, looked a belter and Faf du Plessis’ team will hope to make the most of their batting arsenal - which boasts of a certain Virat Kohli - to get back to winning ways. The Knights, on a high after bucking the trend against Chennai in the opener, will want to keep up their momentum.
On a track which will offer little margin of error for the bowlers, there has to be a greater sense of discipline from both teams. Mohammed Siraj proved quite expensive in their first game for RCB and needs to watch out while for their rivals, a big plus is that Kiwi veteran Tim Southee is available for selection.
Over then to Navi Mumbai…