Captain Gautam Gambhir won the toss and opted to bowl first. We made three changes in the line-up as Chris Lynn made his much awaited return after his long absence due to injury for Coulter-Nile, Ankit Rajpoot replaced Suryakumar Yadav and Piyush Chawla came in place of Kuldeep Yadav.
Bowlers trouble RCB top order:
Umesh Yadav dismissed Gayle for a duck, packing him off the very first ball of the innings. It was Gayle's 100th IPL game and this was the best start that the Knights could have asked for. Mandeep Singh struck a few boundaries even though Umesh Yadav’s slower delivery trapped Kohli LBW. AB de Villiers came in looking sharp and looked threatening with a couple of good strikes, but he too failed to make his presence felt as he was bowled by Sunil Narine for 10 runs. The trio – Kohli, Gayle and AB collectively scored only 15 runs putting the pressure on the middle order to take RCB to a decent total. At the end of the tenth over, RCB managed to score 63 runs at the loss of 3 wickets with Mandeep Singh & Travis Head leading the fight for the home side. GG’s plan to restrict RCB's run rate around 6 was working perfectly fine till the halfway mark.
Mandeep & Head guide RCB to a competitive total:
Mandeep and Head steadied the ship and kept rotating the strike to prevent another crumble. Just when RCB reached the 100 run mark, rain interrupted the play for a few minutes. Mandeep Singh put up a fighting 50 but was dismissed by Narine in his last over & finishing with impressive figures of 2/29. The onus now was on Travis Head to deliver & he didn’t disappoint, scoring a reputable 75 off 47 to help RCB eventually put up a total of 157 with hopes to defend the same against KKR.
The Lynn-Narine Carnage:
The second innings gave us our fourth opening duo for the season with Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine walking to the middle. There has been a lot of discussion regarding the Narine experiment which worked well for a few games but didn't work for a few. He walked in with a point to make and oh boy did he make one! Narine and Lynn went on destroying the bowling attack right from the first over. It did not appear as if Lynn had come in after a break of a month as he never held back even a single opportunity to send the ball soaring. Narine led the onslaught and scored the fastest 50 in IPL history (15 balls) equalling Yusuf Pathan’s record from 2014 (vs SRH). Chris Lynn was not far behind, scoring a rapid 50 in just 22 balls. Both of them went on to put up the fastest Powerplay score – 105. The performance from both the Knights was magnificent leaving the RCB bowlers in much disappointment .
For those who missed watching the match live here is the score card of the first 6 overs.
1st Over - 0 4 4 6 0 0
2nd Over - 0 0 4 1 0 1
3rd Over - 0 4 0 6 0 4
4th Over - 6 6 6 4 2 1
5th Over - 2 4 4 4 Wd Wd 6 4
6th Over - 6 4 2 2 0 6
11 Boundaries, 8 sixes
Narine departed to Aniket Choudhary (Wicket maiden) after the timeout break & his record breaking innings came to an end. Colin de Grandhomme was promoted up the order in order to score some quick runs. Lynn followed Narine back to the dugout after his spectacular comeback innings. Gambhir joined de Grandhomme & they took their time to settle before finding the boundaries. At the end of 10 overs, the score read KKR – 126/2.
The Middle Order Finish:
Needing 33 from 60 balls, there was no pressure on the Knights to wrap up the game. Skipper Gambhir & de Grandhomme rotated the strike & did not give away too many dot balls, getting us closer to the win. The Kiwi all-rounder was stumped off Negi with just 7 runs required for the win & Gambhir followed in the next over looking to finish the game with a boundary. The game was wrapped in the first ball of the 16th over with the classy Manish Pandey finishing the game with a couple of runs ensuring KKR won the game by 6 wickets. Sunil Narine was named the Man of the Match for his all-round show & we moved back to the 2nd spot in the #IPL2017 table.