Virat Kohli returned as Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, for the first time since October 2021, and forged a 137-run opening stand with Faf du Plessis (84, 56b, 5x4, 5x6) to pave the way for his team’s 24-run win against Punjab Kings in a crucial Indian Premier League (IPL) fixture at the IS Bindra Stadium on Thursday.
With regular skipper du Plessis, who is recovering from a rib injury, turning up only as an Impact Player, Kohli was given the responsibility of leading RCB, and he brought up his fourth half-century of the season (59, 47b, 5x4, 1x6) to guide the team to 174 for four.
Put in to bat, RCB got off to a flier, with Kohli and du Plessis taking the team at almost 10 runs an over in the PowerPlay as PBKS’ frontline bowlers failed to find breakthroughs. Arshdeep Singh and Sam Curran employed the short-ball tactic, but that did not prove effective as the visiting team raced to 91 for no loss in 10 overs.
With both Kohli and du Plessis hitting boundaries at will, the team looked on course for a 185-plus total, but RCB slowed down drastically and could manage only 83 runs in the last 10 overs.
As the game progressed, Kohli got stuck for a while and Harpreet Brar, bowling the 17th over, claimed the wickets of the RCB stand-in captain and Glenn Maxwell off consecutive deliveries to turn the tide.
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