Kohli, Gayle shine in RCB’s consolation win

The duo help their team end a lacklustre Indian Premier League campaign with a win.

Virat Kohli scored 58 off 45 balls.   -  AP

 

A vintage Virat Kohli. And, by his own standards, not so vintage Chris Gayle. The spectators, who took almost every seat at the Ferozeshah Kotla here, enjoyed the outing, the last of the Indian Premier League at this venue. The result did not matter. Both teams had lost the race for the play-offs. This was a battle for pride, if not redemption, and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) emerged smiling with a 10-run victory.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kohli had not looked Kohli in the preceding matches. Three fifties in nine innings did not reflect his love for runs. He added a half century tonight that entertained the audience for sheer aesthetic value of the strokes that he produced on a canvas that has been his domain for long. Gayle paled in comparison but the West Indian carted the ball into the galleries a few times. The crowd loved it.

A couple of shots from Kohli need special mention. It was nothing more than a forward defence off Corey Anderson that scattered the spectators behind cover boundary and then a breathtaking on-drive off Amit Mishra was easily the shot of the day, the ball beating the man on the fence in a flash. It was silken all the way and even Mishra did not grudge.

RCB’s 161, after electing to bat, presented Daredevils with a competitive chase. The focus was on winning and there was nothing trivial about the contest. A win mattered and the seriousness was evident all the way. The constant conversations Kohli had with the bowlers demonstrated his desire to win. Daredevils needed a thrust at the top. It came in phases as Harshal Patel, in his first match of this edition, Avesh Khan, making his debut T20, and Pawan Negi served RCB well.

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