KKR has the last laugh as struggling RCB slips to fifth defeat

Royal Challengers Bangalore slipped to its fifth defeat in seven games this season as Kolkata Knight Riders rode on a 52-ball 62 - studded with seven boundaries and a six - by Chris Lynn to down the host by six wickets at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

Chris Lynn on way to his half-century against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru on Sunday.   -  AFP

Royal Challengers Bangalore slipped to its fifth defeat in seven games this season as Kolkata Knight Riders rode on a 52-ball 62 - studded with seven boundaries and a six - by Chris Lynn to down the host by six wickets at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

Chasing a challenging 176 to win, Sunil Narine welcomed Umesh Yadav with a six and a boundary off consecutive deliveries. The left-hander’s ability to play the ball straight — occasionally taking on the long-on and long-off — reaped rewards as KKR raced to 51 for 0 in the Powerplay.

His flourish, though, was interrupted by a 33-minute rain delay following which Narine fell to leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin; the Tamil Nadu tweaker, striking with his first ball of the season as Colin de Grandhomme completed a fine overhead catch at long-off.

SCOREBOARD AND BALL-BY-BALL DETAILS

Robin Uthappa at No. 3 stepped foot on the pedal with a 21-ball 36 during which he hit three boundaries and as many sixes - before becoming Ashwin’s second victim. But Uthappa’s dismissal didn’t deter Lynn, who mixed caution with aggression en route to his half-century off 42 deliveries. Lynn and Nitish Rana put on 31 runs for the second wicket before the latter retired hurt owing to a dodgy lower back.

Birthday boy Andre Russell was out for a golden duck and Karthik was out for a quick-fire 23 off 10 balls, but it was a case of too little too late as the visitor got home with five balls to spare.

Earlier, Karthik won the toss and inserted RCB in to bat. RCB's batting firepower was reduced by half - the South African batsman top scored in the last game against CSK - after viral fever ruled A.B. de Villiers out of Sunday's encounter.

 

On a pitch offering grip and turn, KKR began with a distinctly sub-continental flavour as spinners Piyush Chawla and Narine shared the new ball.

Opener Quinton de Kock (29, 27b, 1x6, 3x4) got off the mark with two back-to-back boundaries off Narine before launching Mitchell Johnson over the square boundary for six.

The keeper-batsman employed the sweep effectively against spin. Just how frequently de Kock played the shot could be gleaned from the fact that the fine leg was a constant feature against de Kock as KKR tried to set him for a top-edged sweep.

Karthik, meanwhile, varied his attack - oscillating between pace and spin in the Powerplay - to keep the batsmen guessing. However, RCB ambled its way to 40 for no loss at the end of the first six overs.

Brendon McCullum (38, 28b, 2x6, 4x4) brought up the team fifty with a slog-sweep off Kuldeep Yadav and then pulled Chawla high and wide over long-on for six in the very next over.

KKR drew first blood when Yadav struck in the ninth over; de Kock - advancing down the crease to go inside out - offering a simple catch to Shubman Gill.

Russell then struck twice in as many deliveries to get rid of McCullum and Manan Vohra. McCullum was through with the hook shot a tad early and ended up getting the faintest of edges to the keeper while Vohra was castled by one that tailed in late.

Virat Kohli (68, 44b, 3x6, 5x4) and Mandeep Singh stitched together a 65-run partnership to bail RCB out. But with Singh holing out to Mavi at deep midwicket, it was time for Kohli to take matters into his own hand.

The stylish right-hander enthralled the crowd with two glorious cover drives off Russell and Johnson and upped the ante off Narine's next over, slicing the West Indian over extra cover for a boundary.

The RCB skipper had another fruitful outing with the bat, and one shot stood out, when Kohli panned out the short arm jab to dispatch Russell over long-on for a maximum, thanks to him, the home side reached 175, which wasn’t enough in the end.

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