ABD and Virat keep RCB’s thin playoff hopes alive
The Delhi outfit put on a decent total with young Abishek Sharma and Rishab Pant tonking the RCB bowlers but RCB’s spine and soul Virat and ABD helped their team home with relative ease in the end.
Winning the toss, Bangalore opted to field first drafting Sarfaraz Khan into the XI. With their playoff chances all but gone, DD brought in young Abishek Sharma and Nepali Sandeep Lamichanne into their XI.
Not for the first time, RCB were off to a flyer with 2 wickets inside 3 overs. Shreyas Iyer then did the anchor role while Pant went berserk after he settled in. The Orange Cap holder took the attack to the DD bowlers and was relentless in playing shot after shot to shake off their early innings woes as the local lad played some breathtaking shots against both pacers and spinners alike. He reached his half century in no time and looked well set to score big before a good ABD catch removed him.
Abishek Sharma who was unknown before this night found the perfect platform on a good deck and played bowlers much older to him with class and composure finished with a flurry of boundaries and scored 47 from just 19 balls and RCB set DD a competitive target of 182.
Starting the chase, RCB who were without an away win, found themselves in a small hole chasing a healthy score after losing promoted opener Moeen Ali and Parthiv Patel. But skipper Kohli and ABD like so often, ensured that RCB would coast along nicely with no hiccups. Even after getting ahead of the required run rate, they were in no mood to slow and both of them tore into DD’s bowling. The pair threatened to complete the game with plenty of balls to spare and increase their run rate in the process before veteran Amit Mishra removed the Indian and RCB skipper. But DD never had any real chance even after removing Mandeep Singh and Sarfaraz Khan for nothing big because AB was batting like a dream. He completed the game with a typical AB six off Boult giving RCB hope like he has done for the past 7 years with the franchise.
Virat and ABD are looking in good nick and both of them should fire for them continuously to keep them afloat. A win generally masks the weaknesses but RCB’s death bowling was for all to see with even their best bowlers going for plenty. This would become a disaster if this continues especially while defending totals with everything at stake. Moeen Ali should do more to hold his place with other overseas players knocking the doors.
What’s next for RCB?
RCB then take on fellow playoff hopefuls KXIP in Indore, a stadium that would suit their batting more than bowling before playing table toppers SRH in Bangalore in their final home game of the season before taking RR for one last time in the league.