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IPL: RCB hope Kohli continues golden run against Kings XI Punjab

Source: PTI
May 08, 2016 15:38 IST
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- RCB captain Virat Kohli has proved to be unstoppable in the tournament, having smashed 541 runs from eight games at an average of 90, which includes two tons and four half-centuries.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli hits out against Rising Pune Supergiants. Photograph: BCCI

Desperate to get their campaigns back on track, the two bottom placed teams in the Indian Premier League -- Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore -- lock horns in Mohali on Monday, aiming to keep their winning momentum going to stay afloat in the ninth edition of the T20 league.

Both Kings XI and RCB have struggled in the ongoing IPL and their hard-fought victories on Saturday came at a time when they badly needed wins to remain in the hunt.

While RCB managed to snap their three losing streak with a seven-wicket win over Rising Pune Supergiants, Kings XI defeated Delhi Daredevils by nine runs to register only their third win in the tournament out of nine games.

Kings XI are languishing at the bottom of the table with six points from nine games, while RCB are just ahead with same points from eight matches.

And from here on, both the teams cannot afford to even slip once as it would end their hopes of progressing through to the knockout rounds.

For Kings XI, it won't be easy as the RCB batting line-up boasts of some of the destructive names in world cricket including skipper Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson.

IMAGE: RCB's players in a huddle. Photograph: BCCI

All eyes will, however, be on RCB's in-form captain Kohli whose performance in the ongoing IPL has left oppositions dumbstruck.

Kohli has emerged as man of the moment for RCB, whose third victory against Pune on Saturday, came largely due to Kohli's splendid innings of 108 nout out from 58 balls.

Chasing a formidable 192 for victory, a determined Kohli batted right till the end to amass his second century of the tournament and guide RCB to a much-needed victory.

Kohli is leading the top scorers list with 541 runs from eight games at an average of 90, which includes two tons and four half-centuries.

Incidentally, RCB, with perhaps the most intimidating batting line-ups in the tournament, has had to taste defeats because of a pedestrian bowling attack that has failed to defend 180 plus scores in most of the matches.

RCB's two best performers with the ball have been Watson and Yuzvendra Chahal but the likes of Stuart Binny, newly-inducted Chris Jordan, Varun Aaron and Parvez Rasool, who all leaked runs on Saturday, will have to put up much better performance to support the team's batting department.

IMAGE: Kings XI Punjab players celebrate a wicket against Delhi Daredevils. Photograph: BCCI

On the other hand, inconsistency has hurt Kings XI badly in the ongoing season.

Kings XI, which looked to have gained some confidence from their 23-run win over Gujarat Lions on May 1, were quick to fritter away the advantage in the subsequent match when they lost by seven runs to Kolkata Knight Riders.

Chinks in their batting have been exposed time and again and in some games they have shown tendency to over-depend on one or two batsmen while chasing, like they did when all burden came on Glenn Maxwell, who struck a 42-ball 68 in the losing cause against Knight Riders.

The Punjab outfit have even changed their skipper midway through the tournament and replaced David Miller with Murali Vijay to relieve pressure from the South African, but despite that Miller is yet to make a big impact with the bat.

Kings XI will also be hoping for a big knock from South African batsman Hashim Amla, who played his first match against Delhi on Saturday but was run out for just one.

Australian Marcus Stoinis (52) has impressed with his all-round performance against Daredevils as he followed up his half-century effort with a three-wicket haul.

Wriddhiman Saha too scored a quickfire 52 to play a vital in Punjab's win but the likes of of Vijay, Maxwell and Miller will have to come up with consistent performances with the bat to help Kings XI
stay afloat. Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma have done well with the ball for Punjab, especially in the middle overs as they showed against Delhi.

Teams:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim, S Arvind, Samuel Badree, Stuart Binny, Yuzuvendra Chahal, AB De Villiers, Praveen Dubey, Chris Gayle, Travis head, Iqbal Abdulla, Kedar Jadhav, Akshay Karnewar, Sarfraz Khan, Vikramjeet Malik, Mandeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Lokesh Rahul, Parveez Rasool, Kane Richardson, Sachin Baby, Vikas Tokas, Shane Watson, David Wiese, Chris Jordan, Tabraiz Shamsi.

Kings XI Punjab: Murali Vijay (captain), Hashim Amla, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh, David Miller, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohit Sharma, KC Cariappa, Sandeep Sharma, Anureet Singh, Armaan Jaffer, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Rishi Dhawan, Mitchell Johnson, Nikhil Naik, Manan Vohra, Pradeep Sahu, Swapnil Singh, Shardul Thakur.

Desperate to get their campaigns back on track, the two bottom placed teams in the Indian Premier League -- Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore -- lock horns in Mohali on Monday, aiming to keep their winning momentum going to stay afloat in the ninth edition of the T20 league.

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