IPL 2024: Kohli’s 77, Karthik’s 28 not out help RCB overpower PBKS by four wickets

Talismanic batter Virat Kohli produced a vintage batting performance to score a magnificent 77 while Dinesh Karthik struck an unbeaten 10-ball 28 blitz to guide Royal Challengers Bengaluru to their first win of IPL 2024, beating Punjab Kings by four wickets at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday.

Talismanic batter Virat Kohli produced a vintage batting performance to score a magnificent 77 while Dinesh Karthik struck an unbeaten 10-ball 28 blitz to guide Royal Challengers Bengaluru to their first win of IPL 2024, beating Punjab Kings by four wickets at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday.

After their bowlers, led by brilliant spells from Mohammed Siraj, Yash Dayal and Glenn Maxwell, kept PBKS to 176/6, Kohli entertained the capacity crowd with a stunning 49-ball 77, laced with two sixes and 11 fours, dishing out another masterclass in chasing in T20s. He was fortunate to be dropped by Jonny Bairstow for nought at the start of the chase, which turned out to be a vital moment. But when Harshal Patel took him out in the 16th over, RCB looked in a spot of bother, requiring 47 runs off 22 balls.

Karthik walked in and smashed an unbeaten 28 off 10 balls, laced with three fours and two sixes while sharing an unbroken 48-run stand with Mahipal Lomror (17 not out) to help RCB get over the line with four balls to spare.

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Chasing 177, Kohli began by edging without any footwork against Curran and Bairstow failed to catch the ball and conceded a boundary. He would go on to drive Curran through covers twice and clip past short fine leg to take 16 runs off the opening over.

Even as Kohli got the RCB innings off to a flier with three authoritative boundaries off Arshdeep Singh, wickets fell from the other end as captain Faf du Plessis mistimed a loft off Kagiso Rabada to mid-on and Cameron Green nicked behind off the fast bowler.

PBKS effected a slowdown via Curran, and Harshal Patel varying their pace and variations while Harpreet Brar bowled mostly in the length area and maintained a stump-to-stump line. But it didn’t have much effect on Kohli as he smoked Rahul Chahar over extra cover for six, before reaching his fifty in 31 balls.

Brar’s efforts paid off when he castled an impatient Rajat Patidar and had Glenn Maxwell chop onto his stumps. Kohli put RCB in control by pulling and glancing Harshal Patel for six and four respectively. He then hit the pacer for back-to-back fours – swipe across the line and cream through extra cover – before slicing to deep backward point.

After Anuj Rawat was foxed by a slower ball from Curran, Lomror played the second fiddle with his flick and pull finding boundaries, while Karthik was calm in glancing, swiping, pulling and pre-mediating a scoop for a late flurry of boundaries, before finishing off the chase with a drive hammered down the ground to spark jubilant scenes for RCB and its supportive fans in the stadium.

Brief scores:

Punjab Kings 176/6 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 45, Jitesh Sharma 27; Mohammed Siraj 2-26, Glenn Maxwell 2-29) lost to Royal Challengers Bengaluru 178/6 in 19.2 overs (Virat Kohli 77; Dinesh Karthik 28 not out; Harpreet Brar 2-13, Kagiso Rabada 2-23) by four wickets

(IANS)

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