It was difficult conditions to bat on at least one can say that from the way the Universal Boss batted. Yes, he scored unbeaten 99 off 64 deliveries but this is Gayle and it’s slow for his calibre.
While Gayle was scoring runs, the other batsmen offered very little support as none of them converted their starts. After Gayle’s 99*, the second highest score was 18, by both Mandeep Singh and KL Rahul.
Coming to RCB’s bowling, they weren’t great but certainly good in parts. Especially, Navdeep Saini and it’s unfortunate to see him go wicketless. Moeen Ali bowled a great spell as well by giving away just 19 runs in his four overs.
To make Punjab settle for 173 with Gayle batting on the other side is itself an achievement for the Bangalore team.
Chasing the same, Parthiv Patel who has shown some great mental strength recently did start well by scoring 9 balls 19. He was then replaced by AB de Villiers and once again we were able to witness two of the best batsmen batting together. This time, both the players made sure not to make blunders as they did in the other matches. They played a good calculative game. With run-rate below nine, they were able to deal it with ones and twos, odd boundaries here and there.
Kohli got to his yet another fifty and was dismissed on 67 while trying to play a pull short, credits to Ashwin’s field placement. After his dismissal, the run-rate did shoot up but it was under control with De Villiers on one side and Marcus Stoinis on the other. A wicket would have turned the match in the favour of Punjab but drop-catches weren’t helping their cause. As a result, de Villiers stood unbeaten on 59, took his team home along with Stoinis, who scored 28*, most of which came in the 19th over. Interestingly, with only six needed in the final over, Ashwin opted to go with Sarfaraz Khan instead of Sam Curran and in the end, it was RCB’s day as they finally open up their account, a day after the announcement of Steyn’s inclusion to the squad.
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