Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli said giving excuses after every match were not the option, as his team slumped to sixth straight defeat, this time at the hands of Delhi Capitals, here on Sunday.
RCB could only manage 149 for nine after being asked to bat first. Kohli scored a patient 41, but the India captain did not get support from the other end. Delhi rode on Shreyas Iyer’s 67 to reach the target with seven balls to spare.
“We need to grab our chances when they come our way. We can’t keep giving excuses every game,” Kohli said after the match. “We weren’t good enough again. That’s the whole story of our season, so far,” the India captain admitted.
On his innings, Kohli said he had to stem the rot when AB de Villiers got out. “When AB got out I had to dig deep, the other guys had to strike around me. Stoinis was good, Moeen (Ali) was good and Akshdeep (Nath) too. When there are two senior batsmen and one gets out, the other has to take charge. That’s the whole idea.
“We thought 160 was going to be competitive. Even 150 was about par. It was quite dry underneath and we knew it would be slow. Not as good as the last game. That was exactly the case in the first innings. We kept losing wickets at regular intervals — couldn’t really explode.”
Kohli also said he wasn’t happy with the way he got out. “The pitch didn’t allow us to play freely. Understanding the situation and targeting specific bowlers, I wasn’t too happy to get out to a ball like that. If I had stayed, we could have added 25-30 more to the total. In hindsight, we can look at all this. But 160 was a competitive total,” the RCB captain said.
RCB have now lost seven games in a row, six this season. The dry run stretches from May 19 till April, their highest in terms of consecutive losses.
South African pacer Kagiso Rabada scalped four wickets to restrict Bangalore. The South Africa pacer (4/21) bowled a brilliant 18th over to snare three wickets, including that of Kohli’s, to stem RCB’s run flow. In the final over, he gave away just seven runs.
Chasing a modest 150 for victory, Delhi always had the measure of the game and eventually won with seven balls to spare.
Iyer (67; 50b, 4x8, 6x2) made the most of a reprieve — he was dropped on four by Parthiv Patel in the first over off Tim Southee — to bring up his 11th fifty in the IPL as he joined hands with Prithvi Shaw for a 68-run second wicket partnership.
The 24-year old paced his innings expertly, but got out in the end while trying to pull Navdeep Saini only to get caught at short cover by Yuzvendra Chahal in the 18th over.
There was a little flutter when Chris Morris (0) was dismissed in the same over and then Rishabh Pant (18) too departed in the next. But Axar Patel hit a four off Mohammad Siraj to close the game.
Off-colour Shikhar Dhawan was out for a golden duck, getting caught at point off Pawan Negi. But that was the only time RCB could make merry as Delhi never let the game slip once Iyer and Shaw got going.
In the third over, Shaw displayed strokeplay of the highest order, striking Southee for four consecutive boundaries with the fifth one going down the fine leg region for four leg byes.
Southee got his line all wrong as Shaw first chipped him through deep midwicket before pulling a length ball off his hips.
The U-19 World Cup winning captain, who is rated very highly, underlined his rich potential with a delicate cut off the third ball and then repeated the stroke, much to the dismay of a hapless Virat Kohli.
Delhi raced to 53/1 in six overs, but Shaw could not continue his good show as he top-edged Negi to Akshdeep Nag at deep square leg.
Colin Ingram (22) and Iyer then added 39 runs for the third wicket, which took the game completely out of RCB’s control.
RCB were off to a stuttering start, losing opener Parthiv Patel (9) early as the in-form stumper-batsman slashed a wide Sandeep Lamichhane (1/46) delivery straight to Chris Morris at third man.
De Villiers (17) failed to continue the fireworks from the last game and holed out to Ingram at long on off Rabada.
Marcus Stoinis (15) hit a six and looked good during his short stay at the crease, but was dismissed when he pulled Axar Patel (1/22) from outside the off-stump only to be caught by Rahul Tewatia at long on.
Ali and Kohli then joined hands for a 37-run fourth wicket stand. But once the two got out, the hosts’ charge ended.
Delhi Capitals beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by four wickets. Royal Challengers Bangalore 149 for eight (Virat Kohli 41; Kagiso Rabada 4/21) Delhi Capitals 152 for six in 18.5 overs (Shreyas Iyer 67; Navdeep Saini 2/24).