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IPL PIX: RCB beat GT to keep playoff hopes alive

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 20, 2022 00:26 IST
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IMAGE: Virat Kohli celebrates on scoring a half-century. He top-scored for RCB with a well-made 73. Photograph: BCCI

A fired up Virat Kohli roared back to form with a fine half-century as Royal Challengers Bangalore stayed alive in the IPL play-off race with a thumping eight-wicket win over table toppers Gujarat Titans here on Thursday.

 

IMAGE: Rashid Khan of Gujarat Titans celebrates the wicket of Virat Kohli. Photograph: BCCI

This was after skipper Hardik Pandya scored a gritty 47-ball 62 to lift GT to a competitive 168 for five after opting to bat. Kohli (73 off 54) and captain Faf du Plessis (44 off 38) shared a match-winning 115-run opening stand before Glenn Maxwell (40 not out off 18) went ballistic to ensure the team got home in 18.4 overs.

By virtue of this win, RCB moved to fourth place in the standings with 16 points but will have to wait for the Delhi Capitals-Mumbai Indians game on Saturday to know their fate.

IMAGE: Gujarat Titans' David Miller bats during his attacking innings of 34. Photograph: BCCCI

A loss for Delhi would ensure RCB a play-off berth. As the 'Kohli Kohli' chants suggested, the whole of Wankhede and probably the country wanted to see the former India captain back amongst the runs and with a little bit of luck going his way, he was back playing the shots he is known for. When Kohi picked Mohammed Shami for two lofted boundaries over the bowler's head and cover in the third over, it looked it would be his night

His next four was a streaky one off Hardik who bowled with the new ball. The very next ball, Kohli was at his animated best as he whipped Hardik towards square leg with Rashid Khan missing a tough chance in the deep. A sign of his growing confidence was an aerial straight drive off Rashid.

IMAGE: Maxwell scored 40 off 18 balls to take RCB home. Photograph: BCCI

Kohli was quick on his feet both against Rashid as well as the pacers. The Indian superstar brought up his second fifty of the season by whipping a full ball off Rashid over deep midwicket. With Kohli on song, Du Plessis played his part perfectly and kept rotating the strike besides an odd boundary.

After the captain's dismissal, Maxwell joined Kohli and went ballistic from ball one. The Australian's cameo included a reverse scoop shot off Hardik that went all the way. After collecting his second six off Rashid, Kohli tried one too many and got stumped in the 17th over but the job had been well and truly done by then.

 

IMAGE: Faf du Plessis and Harshal Patel celebrate the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha. Photograph: BCCI

Skipper Hardik Pandya scored a gritty half-century to lift Gujarat Titans to a competitive 168 for five against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League in Mumbai on Thursday.

Coming into the game with a string of low scores, Hardik warmed up nicely for the play-offs with a well crafted 62 not out off 47 balls even though he was not at his fluent best.RCB, needing a win to stay alive in the tournament, limited GT to 72 for three in 10 overs, largely due to their brilliance in the field despite Wriddhiman Saha's (31 off 22) threatening stay in the middle.

Saha provided another brisk start with some clean hitting but his opening partner Shubman Gill perished cheaply.

The right-hander poked at a good length ball and Glenn Maxwell, standing at a widish first slip, plucked a stunning one handed catch diving to his right.

Matthew Wade, who has not been at his explosive best in the IPL, fell to a controversial call which also attracted empathy from Virat Kohli. Wade was sure that he underedged a sweep shot off Maxwell and took no time in reviewing the on-field decision, which was out.

IMAGE: Hardik Pandya loses his bat before smashing his way to 62 not out.. Photograph: BCCI

However, despite a clear deviation in the ball's trajectory before it thudded on to the pads, the UltraEdge did not detect it and the TV umpire stayed with the on-field umpire's call.

Wade had no choice but to grudgingly walk back into the dugout. Saha, who hit four boundaries and a six, had Hardik for company in the middle but following a mix up with his captain, the wicketkeeper fell way short of his crease when Faf du Plessis came up with stunning direct hit from mid off.

IMAGE: Matthew Wade is disappointed after being LBW by Glenn Maxwell.. Photograph: BCCI

Hardik, who was dropped on 14, made it count alongside David Miller (34 off 25), who continued his impressive run in the tournament.

Miller smashed three sixes before Wanindu Hasaranga got rid of him with a sharp return catch. Rashid Khan (19 not out off six) joined Hardik in the death overs and did what he has done over the course of the season. The leg-spinner whacked couple of sixes towards the end to push the total past 160.

GT scored 50 runs out of the last five overs.

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