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Match summary: A batting masterclass by Kohli-Faf duo

Kolkata: The two stalwarts of Royal Challengers Bangalore – Virat Kohli (73 off 54 balls) and Faf du Plessis (44 off 38) rose to the occasion to make light of a tricky chase as they coasted to a eight-wicket win over leaders Gujarat Titans this evening.

Chasing a target of 169 on a wicket which offered a bit of grip, both Kohli and his skipper knew that they needed a flying start and not let the asking rate climb up against a disciplined Gujarat attack. Kohli turned the aggressor as the openers put up a 115-run stand to set the tone for the match.

The much-needed win takes RCB to fourth position in the table but their current rate of -0.253 means they will have to cast a wary eye on the Delhi Capitals-Mumbai Indians game. Delhi, now in fifth position but with a better run-rate (+0.255), need to lose against Mumbai.

Earlier, Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya (62 off 47 balls) showed the way with an extremely useful 61-run stand for the third wicket with David Miller (34 off 25 balls) to reach a competitive total of 168.

Rashid has the last laugh

The Kohli masterclass comes to an end and Rashid has the last laugh. The former steps out for a pre-meditated heave at the leggie but misses the line of the goggly - it's an easy stumping for Wade. DK has joined Maxwell and they will try to take RCB home in quick time.

7000 runs for Kohli in RCB colours

A batting landmark falls to Kohli after quite a while as he crosses the 7000-run mark in RCB colours - from IPL and T20 Champions League.  It seems to be his day today... 

Just the right time for him to make it count...

Sealing with a six

Kohli reaches the 50-mark with a spanking six off Rashid Khan. It's his second in what had been a dismal IPL season, but the statement of intent is clear.

Kohli in the zone

The master batter, in desperate search of form, seems to be batting on a different wicket today. The timing is back as he just hammers young Yash Dayal through covers for a four and neither can the spinners pose any problem for him. The normally disciplined Gujarat attack looks a bit in disarray now.

Kohli hits early rhythm

Kohli takes the role of the aggressor in the Powerplay. He milked Shami early on and then is trying not to allow Rashid Khan settle down to his groove as RCB cross the 50-mark in sixth over.

Mid-match summary: Pandya pilots Titans to competitive total

Kolkata: Gujarat Titans did well on a slow surface after opting to bat to finish on a competitive total of 168 for five against Royal Challengers Bangalore this evening.

On a wicket where strokeplay proved really difficult, skipper Hardik Pandya (62 off 47 balls) showed the way first with an extremely useful 61-run stand for the third wicket with David Miller (34 off 25 balls) and then striking a few lusty blows towards the end. Rashid Khan’s cameo of 19 off six balls were also runs worth their weight in gold.

It was a disciplined effort by the RCB bowlers, with Josh Hazlewood sending back Shubman Gill in the third over. Spinners Wanindu Hasaranga, Glenn Maxwell were particularly mingy in their spells.

A target of 168 can be a challenging one, more so since Bangalore has to get it in quick time with an eye on the nett run rate.

RCB in control

A valuable 61-run stand ends when Miller is caught by Hasaranga off his own bowling as Tewatia falls soon after. RCB bowlers have kept them very much in the game but the chase won't be easy either on this strip.

Waiting game

A mature effort so far from Pandya, Miller as stroke-making is not easy on this wicket. Maxwell has been particularly mingy, so is Hasaranga. It looks like a 160-ish total will be a good one on this wicket.

Titans slow down

It's been a poor first half of the innings for Titans so far. Saha, who looked to be carrying on his fluent form, was a trifle late in responding to a call from his skipper and falls for a well-made 31 off 22 balls. This brings two of the power hitters, Pandya and Miller together.

Modest start for Titans

Titans end the Powerplay at a modest 38 for two with Gill and Wade back in the hut. There seems to be some grip on the surface and Faf has already used two spinners, Shahbaz and Maxwell to good effect. Skipper Pandya joins Saha in the middle.

Wade at No.3

Two wicketkeepers out in the middle making for a left-right combination. Wade finds Hazlewood in the arc for a big six over mid wicket as he and Saha don't want to slow down campaign in Powerplay.

Gill departs

Wridhhiman Saha, the man in form, had just given the Titans a good start by milking Siddharth Kaul in the first over of the day. However, Hazlewood who replaces Kaul in 3rd over, strikes immediately as Gill prods at a delivery which shapes slightly away and Maxwell completes a splendid catch at the lone slip.

Titans win toss, elect to bat

Welcome to Match No.67 of the season. Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya wins the toss and with nothing at stake for them, opts to bat to get used to all scenarios ahead of the play-offs. Let's see if Bangalore, who have done well in chasing, can capitalise on this.

Kolkata: Royal Challengers Bangalore have quite a task on their hands as they have to win big against table-toppers Gujarat Titans in the 67th match of IPL 2022 this evening if they want to squeeze in as the fourth team in the play-offs.

Now poised in fifth position with seven wins from 13 games (14 points), Faf du Plessis’s men have a net run rate of -32.3 and hence need to improve it if they want to pip Delhi Capitals and ensure a trip to the Eden Gardens for the Eliminator. They will, however, then hope that Delhi Capitals lose their last game to Mumbai Indians - an unlikely scenario - to make the last four.

Hardik Pandya’s Titans, who had sealed the top spot with 20 points, have nothing to lose but are unlikely to take their foot off the pedal ahead of their Qualifier next week. It will be interesting to see if they rest any of their key players like senior paceman Mohammed Shami to keep him fresh for the knockout stages.

This is their second meeting this season with Gujarat prevailing over Bangalore by six wickets in the earlier one. RCB will once again hope that Virat Kohli can build on his starts as his form had been one of their biggest conundrum this season.

Over then, to Wankhede Stadium…