After Royal Challengers defeated Bangalore Punjab Kings by six runs to become the third team to qualify for the play-offs, Virat Kohli said his team would now aim for a top two finish. The 32-year-old also praised the bowling unit for defending 165 despite a solid start by PBKS openers.
KL Rahul (39) and Mayank Agarwal (57) combined for 91 runs in just 10.5 overs. but the Punjab outfit then collapsed, losing wickets at regular intervals to lose the match by six runs.
RCB captain Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony that he always knew his team was just two wickets away from breaking through in the game against PBKS. Kohli also expressed his joy at having qualified for the play-offs with two more league matches.
“Feels great. After 2011 we haven’t done it with games left. Eight wins from 12 games is a great campaign. We have two more chances to finish in the top two. Should give us the motivation to play even more fearless If you don’t have any wickets on the scoreboard, you can take more risks. [Padikkal] must. 15-20 runs on this ground can be crucial. We need to connect those areas. As a side, we have made an effort to improve, be it losses or wins. We knew the wicket would get slower and slower. KL and Mayank hit very well, but we knew we only had two wickets left to get back into the game. (To the bowlers) Siraj’s revival, since he’s done well in Test cricket. Harshal’s recording was excellent. Yuzi participated, as did Shahbaz. Garton has come in. If the players don’t get up, the campaign will go off track,” Kohli said after the game.
Earlier, in the first innings, Devdutt Padikkal played a handy 38-ball 40 knock to give RCB a good start with his captain Virat Kohli (25). Later, Glenn Maxwell (57) hit his fifth fifty of the season to help his team to 164/7 in 20 overs – an effort that earned him the Player of the Match award.
The hard-working Australian has credited RCB for specifying his role, which has helped him get the job done efficiently for the team. The 32-year-old called Sharjah wicket the hardest to adjust in the 2021 UAE leg of IPL.
“Came in at a good time to bat. Luckily got the first few risks off center. I feel like I’ve batted well the last two years of IPL. Getting it set up by the openers today gave us some time to get a sense of the wicket When they got to RCB they wanted me to play the exact same role (as I did Australia) This (Sharjah) is probably the hardest to adapt The spinners let it slip, which means you have to be sharper at the start of your innings,” he said.
RCB will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, October 6.
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