Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 82 runs in Sharjah to go to the third place in the points table. In the process, they have also boosted their net run-rate and are place in 10 points alongside Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals.
This was KKR’s second loss at this venue and their fourth loss overall. They are placed fourth on the points table with eight points from seven games.
Let us take a look at 5 talking points from the game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore:
1. KKR Bowlers Leaking Runs at the Death
After two back to back games where KKR defended their target to win the game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore they leaked runs in the backend bowling first. KKR bowlers gave away 83 runs in the last five overs with AB de Villiers hitting them to all parts of the ground.
They controlled the game very well in the middle overs with Varun Chakravarty in operation, however, at the death, De Villiers made up for RCB. KKR’s inconsistency in cashing in after a good start has been the problem with them in this tournament so far.
To make things worse for KKR, Pat Cummins has not been in the best of form for the side so far. He has just taken two wickets from seven games in this ongoing season.
2. Unstoppable AB de Villiers for Royal Challengers Bangalore
AB de Villiers was out for a duck against Chennai Super Kings. However, against KKR, he made up for it with a fast start. He added a 100-run stand in the last seven overs of their innings to bat Kolkata out of the contest in the first half itself.
He was 8 off 9 deliveries at one stage but hit two sixes and a boundary to Kamlesh Nagarkoti to get going in the game. Then again when he was going great guns, he hit Pat Cummins two sixes and a boundary in the 17th over of the innings. However, he hit just two boundaries in the last 17 balls of the Royal Challengers Bangalore innings where he just fac seven deliveries.
3. RCB Spinners Bamboozle KKR Top-Order
KKR scored 43 runs in the powerplay but their problems mounted when the Royal Challengers Bangalore spinners were brought into the attack. The two spinners bowled eight overs, picked three wickets and gave away just 32 runs. The KKR top-order crumbled under pressure created by the two spinners with their accurate bowling. Chahal was introduced in the sixth over, while Sundar in the seventh.
KKR were only able to score 26 runs were scored in that period and KKR lost four wickets with the RCB spinners bowling in tandem. Apart from the openers, Kolkata lost Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan in that phase of play.
4. Out of Form Andre Russell Hurting Kolkata
Andre Russell has been woefully out of form with the bat so far this season for KKR. He had to stand up for his team in Sharjah on Monday, with KKR needing just over 100 runs in the last seven overs. He hit two fours and a six during his short stay at the crease but never really looked threatening.
The pitch slowing down in the second innings with Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers mixing their pace up did not help Russell’s case either. With seven games left in the league stage, it will be interesting to see if Russell can find his form with the bat.
Eoin Morgan’s inconsistent run also has been a talking point for Kolkata. Morgan, along with Russell and Karthik is apart of the much-famed KKR middle-order, which was expected to be consistent in this IPL season. However, it’s their inconsistency in almost every game that has been the most important talking point in Kolkata’s performance so far.
5. Way Forward for KKR & RCB
KKR play their IPL nemesis Mumbai Indians at this very venue in three days time, while Royal Challengers Bangalore who are marching well in the campaign so far face an under the pump Kings XI Punjab side.
For KKR to make it to the final four, they first have to find a way to beating Mumbai. The road ahead is a tougher one for Karthik more than Kohli.