• Tuesday, April 16, 2024

CRICKET

Kolkata secure dominant victory over Bengaluru despite Kohli’s 83 not out

Virat Kohli reacts as he fields the ball during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on March 29, 2024. (Photo by IDREES MOHAMMED/AFP via Getty Images)

Pramod ThomasBy: Pramod Thomas

VIRAT KOHLI batted out the innings for Royal Challengers Bengaluru with his second straight Indian Premier League half-century on Friday (29) but Kolkata Knight Riders still cruised to a seven-wicket victory.

Chasing the home side’s 182-6, Kolkata reached their target with 19 balls to spare when skipper Shreyas Iyer hit an unruffled six off Mayank Dagar.

Their chase was off to a roaring start with Phil Salt (30) and all-rounder Sunil Narine (47) putting on 86 for the visitors, earning fulsome praise from Bengaluru captain Faf du Plessis.

“I just thought they were excellent,” he said. “Really broke the game in the first six overs”.

Narine hit five sixes in his 22-ball knock before Dagar bowled him in the seventh, with Salt following in the next over when he was caught at deep square leg.

Venkatesh Iyer made 50 to keep up the momentum before he was caught by Kohli while Shreyas saw out the innings with his 39.

“On that pitch it was very tough,” Shreyas said. “It was important to assess the pitch and wait for those loose deliveries,” Iyer said.

Kohli notched up 83 and made his 50 off 36 balls, throwing a thumbs-up to the jubilant home crowd, and his knock made him the leading tournament run-scorer since the season began last week.

But a lack of able partners left Bengaluru’s innings a one-man show.

Du Plessis was out for eight at the end of the second over when he scooped a perplexing delivery from Harshit Rana straight into the arms of Mitchell Starc.

Cameron Green was the next top-scorer at 33 but was sent back after when he missed a lightning delivery from Andre Russell crashed off his back pad and into the stumps.

Glenn Maxwell survived two easy catches fumbled by Ramandeep Singh and Narine in consecutive overs.

But Narine had his revenge soon afterwards when he sent a bouncer to Maxwell that was powered to deep point and into the arms of Rinku Singh, who kissed the ball in triumph.

Maxwell finished with 28 from 19 balls while Kohli survived a close run out later that over when a replay showed his sliding dive had put him over the crease in time.

Dinesh Karthik made 20 before being run out by Salt on the last ball with Andre Russell pick of the Kolkata bowlers at 2-29.

(AFP)

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