Siraj thanks Kohli after pacer's dream spell helps RCB thrash KKR

Siraj recorded match figures of 4-2-8-3 as RCB chased down a small total of 85 in 13.3 overs to jump to the second position in the points table.

Mohammed Siraj produced a gem of a spell, recording figures of 3/8 as RCB humbled KKR.   -  IPL

Mohammed Siraj thanked skipper Virat Kohli for giving him the new ball as the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer produced a devastating spell and helped his team thrash Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by eight wickets.

Siraj recorded match figures of 4-2-8-3 as RCB chased down a small total of 85 in 13.3 overs to jump to the second position in the points table.

KKR vs RCB Highlights, IPL 2020

"First I want to thank Allah for my performance. Then thanks to Virat for giving me the new ball. I have been practising a lot with the new ball. We hadn't planned that I will open but when we went out, Virat bhai said Miyan ready ho jao. (get ready). The ball to Rana was very good. Executed exactly what I had planned," Siraj who was bagged the Man of the Match, said at the post-match presentation.

Winning skipper Virat Kohli said that it was a late call to hand Siraj the new ball but is happy with the way the fast bowler performed.

"It was a late call to be honest (to give Siraj the new ball). Was thinking of giving Washy (Washington Sundar). I obviously have thought about the things we can do on the field. Management have brought in a proper culture. We have plan A, we have plan B, and people are executing it that's why it's looking good. Don't think lot of people have belief in RCB. Guys in the change room do and that's all that matters. Can have the best players in the world but if you don't have the belief it's no good," Kohli said.

RCB's bowling has stood out this time with Chris Morris leading from the front and the skipper had a word of praise.

" Morris is loving the responsibility. He likes to be in a leadership role in the team. Even against Kings, he tried to york Gayle. His energy is amazing. A great, great addition to our squad. Last year he had a tough year. Lot of people went hard at him. But he worked hard. He's seeing the result now and we want him to continue," Kohli said.

'Should have bowled first'

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan conceded that his team should have bowled first after winning the toss.

"Being 4/5 down early on isn't the position we wanted to be in. RCB bowled well and probably looking at the conditions, we should have bowled first. We will learn our lessons and move in in the next game. It was a question of backing the young Indian guys who showed glimpses of talent and potential. They (RCB bowlers) managed to exploit anything that was on offer and given the nature of the tournament every time you have to be at your best against every team," Morgan said.

Kolkata went into the match without the services of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine and Morgan said the duo will be available, going forward.

"Hopefully they (Narine and Russell) will be available around the corner and we know when guys of that calibre, particularly all-rounders are available, things will be different. Hopefully, they will be available soon," he said.

Loss against RCB morale-crushing - McCullum

Disappointed with his team’s “timid approach” with the bat, Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum has admitted that the crushing defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore would definitely affect the morale of the side.

However, he reiterated that KKR’s destiny was in its own hands and that it can go all the way to the final.

“This (loss) is going to affect a little bit in terms of our confidence. We need to work hard on ensuring our morale doesn’t drop at the same time having those honest conversations around how we improve,” McCullum said after the eight-wicket loss to RCB on Wednesday night.

“But I still firmly believe that we have a side which can be there later on in the tournament, come finals. We just need to improve slightly.

“We’re still fourth in the tournament, which is very fortunate for us. Destiny is still very much in our hands. We have just got to tighten up some of those areas where we’re deficient tonight and make sure we improve on our performance,” he said.

McCullum admitted that KKR was not good enough and lacked intent in the lopsided contest against RCB.

Electing to bat, the KKR top-order crumbled against Mohammed Siraj (3 for 8) to be bowled out for 83. RCB chased down its target in 13.3 overs with eight wickets in hand.

McCullum said there was no demon in the pitch but the batsmen lacked intent against some quality RCB bowling.

'Frustrating'

“I didn’t think there was a lot in the wicket. Siraj obviously bowled well and (Chris) Morris at times also. But if anything, we were just a little timid in our approach,” McCullum said.

“That’s just a bit frustrating because we spoke at length before the game about trying to be positive and show some strong intent, so that’s something we’ll have to address in the next few days.”

Siraj became the first bowler in the history of IPL to bowl two maiden overs as he dismissed Rahul Tripathi (1), Nitish Rana (0) and Tom Banton (10) to virtually kill the contest in the first four overs.

“I just think we weren’t able to enter the game at any stage, none of our top-order batsmen were able to get anything going,” McCullum said.

“Defending 85, you might just win one in 50 games. I think RCB were very good tonight. We’re very poor with bat in hand. You’re not going to win too many games from 40 for 6. But we’ve got to bounce back because we’ve got another game in a few days.

“With the conditions being slightly challenging at times, you’ve got to find a way to still pick yourself up and try and get a result in the next game,” he added.

McCullum said self belief is the need of the hour after such a disappointing performance.

“For us, it’s about maintaining belief. As long as our morale stays high, and our belief within the dressing room stays high, then we have the talent within our setup, the intelligence and quality of players, to be able to go deep in the tournament.”

KKR has four matches left to secure a playoff spot and next faces Delhi Capitals here on Saturday.

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