» Cricket » Turning Point: DK-Ahmed Swing It RCB's Way

Turning Point: DK-Ahmed Swing It RCB's Way

April 06, 2022 07:35 IST
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IMAGE: Royal Challengers Bangalore's Dinesh Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed stitched a match-winning 67-run partnership against the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, April 5, 2022. Photograph: BCCI

We witnessed a rollercoaster of a match at the Wankhede on Tuesday night as Royal Challengers Bangalore pulled off victory out of nowhere to inflict Rajasthan Royals's first loss this season.

The match ebbed and flowed well to keep us all hooked until that moment when Dinesh Karthik stole the momentum from Rajasthan and put the game out of their reach.

On winning the toss, RCB inserted Rajasthan in. Save Jos Buttler (70 off 47), most of the Royals batters struggled to get going on a pitch where the ball wasn't coming on easily.

It was only late in Rajasthan's innings that the Wankhede pitch eased out and Shimron Hetmyer (42 off 31) and Buttler clobbered 62 runs off the last 4 overs as they posted a par score of 169.

With dew being a factor, defending 169 was always going to be a task. And Faf du Plessis and Anuj Rawat started RCB's reply strongly, racing to 48-0 in the Powerplay overs. Du Plessis looked classy during his stay at the wicket, almost always scoring through well-timed shots.

But Yuzvendra Chahal broke the 55-run opening partnership. Du Plessis played one false shot and he was caught by Trent Boult in the deep.

Next over, Navdeep Saini struck having Rawat play a loose shot only to sky the ball and wicket-keeper Sanju Samson completing a good catch.

The very next over saw Virat Kohli needlessly run out for 5 before Chahal picked his second wicket with David Willey bowled for a duck.

The Royals had four wickets against the run of play and all they had to do was keep the pressure, contain the scoring, frustrate the batters and force them to throw their wickets away. But that wasn't to be.

The very next over Ravichandran Ashwin bowled three wides and gave six runs in the over before Shahbaz Ahmed went after Saini as they took 15 runs off of him. Boult took out Sherfane Rutherford the next over, RCB losing half the side now.

In walked in the in-form Dinesh Karthik who got into the groove within no time. He hammered Ashwin for 21 runs in the 14th over. Ahmed and he then took down Saini for 16 runs in the following over and the equation narrowed down to a gettable 32 off 24.

Ahmed then blasted a couple of big hits off Boult to the boundary before he was bowled trying to playing a paddle shot for a well made 45 off 26.

He played his part to perfection and together with DK who stayed on till the end with a 23-ball 44, brought RCB back from the dead.

Those four wickets just after the Powerplay couldn't set RCB back as Ahmed took on the bowlers early and once DK strode on to the field he showed no mercy, especially Ashwin clobbering him for 21 runs that literally turned the match on its head.

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