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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PBKS Vs RCB: Who Played The Best Knock?

PBKS Vs RCB: Who Played The Best Knock?

By LAXMI NEGI
Last updated on: March 26, 2024 06:42 IST
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Virat Kohli rolled back the years with a magnificent knock (77 runs) on Monday, March 25, 2024, guiding Royal Challengers Bengaluru to their first win of the season against the Punjab Kings at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.

This thrilling encounter, decided in the final over, continued the trend of close finishes in IPL 2024.

 

While Kohli anchored the chase with his masterful display of controlled aggression, the contributions of Mahipal Lomror and Dinesh Karthik in the death overs shouldn't be overlooked.

A look at the best batters in the Punjab Kings-Royal Challengers Bengaluru match:

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli

Kohli's sublime batting spearheaded RCB to a dominant four wicket victory. This win maintains the unbeaten streak for home teams in the ongoing IPL season.

Set a target of 177 on a pitch offering some uneven bounce, Kohli anchored the RCB chase with a masterful display of controlled aggression. Although he was fortunate to receive reprieves at both 0 and 33 (both courtesy Sam Curran's bowling), he capitalised ruthlessly, dismantling the PBKS bowling attack with exquisite strokes.

Kohli began his innings with a bang, collecting 16 runs off the very first over after a dropped catch by Jonny Bairstow. This proved to be a pivotal moment, as Kohli unleashed a flurry of boundaries -- textbook cover drives, powerful flicks, and lofted shots over extra cover.

His dominance extended to facing the tournament's premier fast bowler, Kagiso Rabada. A perfectly timed lofted drive off Rabada, who otherwise had a commendable spell (2/23), epitomised Kohli's exceptional batting on a challenging surface.

While other RCB batters like Cameron Green and Glenn Maxwell found scoring difficult against Rabada and the impressive Harpreet Brar (2/13), Kohli remained a lone warrior. His innings eventually ended when he miscued a slower ball from Harshal Patel, failing to clear the deep third man fielder.

However, Kohli's 77 runs from just 49 balls, including 11 fours and 2 sixes, had laid the foundation for RCB's victory.

The team chased down the target with four balls to spare, securing their first win of the IPL season.

Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik

Kohli's dismissal in the 16th over left RCB needing 47 runs from 24 balls.

Enter Dinesh Karthik, the seasoned finisher. 38 years old, his agility and shot selection belied his age. With nerves of steel, he immediately took control.

Partnering with Mahipal Lomror (17 not out off 8 balls), Karthik stitched together a match-winning 48 run stand off just 18 deliveries. He began with boundaries off Curran, demonstrating his intent to chase down the target quickly.

Lomror too played his part, launching a six and a four in the 13th over to keep the required run rate manageable.

The penultimate over, bowled by Harshal Patel, saw DK unleash his power-hitting prowess. He mirrored Lomror's earlier success, dispatching boundaries with minimal fuss.

With 10 runs needed from the final over, Karthik displayed his finishing masterclass. A premeditated scoop sent the first ball sailing over the ropes for a six. The second ball was met with a powerful drive down the ground, securing a well-deserved victory for RCB with four balls to spare.

Karthik's unbeaten 28 from just 10 balls, a display of both power and composure, proved to be the deciding factor in RCB's win. He showcased his experience and ability to handle pressure, ensuring RCB secured their first points of the IPL 2024 season.

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan

RCB opted to field first at the Chinnaswamy stadium, hoping to exploit the early bounce in the pitch. Their bowlers initially found success, dismissing Bairstow cheaply. Bairstow's struggles with the bat continued, extending his run of poor form since last year's World Cup in India.

However, PBKS Captain Shikhar Dhawan stepped up to anchor the innings. While not always displaying the smoothest technique, Dhawan demonstrated his experience and tactical awareness.

He played cautiously initially, but pounced on any loose deliveries, exemplified by his six over long-on off Mayank Dagar's left-arm spin. His 45 off 37 balls provided much-needed stability.

Dhawan found a willing partner in Prabhsimran Singh. Together, they stitched together a crucial partnership of 55 runs off just 38 balls. This stand helped Punjab recover from their shaky start and build a solid platform for the middle order.

Shashank Singh

Shashank Singh

PBKS' batting innings appeared destined for mediocrity. Wickets fell steadily, threatening a below par total against a disciplined RCB bowling attack.

However, a dramatic final over courtesy of young batsman Shashank Singh completely transformed their fortunes.

Jitesh Sharma (27 off 20 balls) and Prabhsimran Singh (25 off 17 balls) laid a decent foundation, but earlier partnerships failed to capitalise.

Enter Shashank Singh, walking out with PBKS needing a significant push.

Facing the fiery pace of Alzarri Joseph, Shashank displayed remarkable composure. He unleashed a flurry of aggressive strokes, showcasing his power-hitting prowess.

The first ball of the over disappeared over the long-on boundary with a powerful flick, followed by a well-executed hook shot that soared over mid-wicket for another six.

This wasn't just brute force; Shashank demonstrated excellent timing and placement as well. The third ball found the gap between third man and point for a well-timed boundary. By the end of the over, he had not only treated the crowd to a breathtaking display of power hitting, but plundered a staggering 20 runs from just eight deliveries (2 sixes, 1 four).

Shashank's late cameo completely transformed Punjab Kings' innings. His unbeaten knock not only provided a much needed boost in momentum heading into the second innings, but it also highlighted the depth and potential that exists within their batting line-up.

His short yet impactful knock ensured Punjab Kings ended their innings on a more respectable score of 176/6.

PBKS Vs RCB: Who Played The Best Knock?

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LAXMI NEGI / Rediff.com

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