Royal Challengers Bangalore, who set a total of 170 for Gujarat Titans to chase, should have known better about the finishing abilities of Rahul Tewatia and David Miller. The effort of Virat Kohli & Co on a good pitch proved no challenge for GT’s power-hitters who have made a habit to pull off sensational chases this IPL. (Follow IPL 2022 full coverage)
The two raised an unfinished 79-run partnership off just 40 balls, chasing down the target with six wickets left. Tewatia (Payer-of-the-Match) scored 43* off 25 balls and Miller hit 39* off 24 balls. With 16 points after nine games, GT, at the top of the points table, have opened a four-point gap with Rajasthan Royals.
For RCB, it was their third straight loss, second straight at Brabourne after being dismissed for 68 by Sunrisers Hyderabad. They have 10 points after 10 games (5th overall). “Another game with Tewatia was great, it’s important to have such performances to get to the playoffs,” Miller said.
KOHLI GETS FIFTY
RCB will take consolation from their talisman Virat Kohli notching up his first fifty of the season. Opening the batting, Kohli (58—53b, 6×4, 1×6) didn’t really set the stage on fire, but the innings will help take some pressure off him after a series of low scores.
While Kohli built the innings after opening partner and skipper Faf Du Plessis fell early. It was due to Rajat Patidar (52—32b, 5×4, 2×6), Glenn Maxwell and Mahipal Lomror that the RCB bowlers had a decent total to defend.
Patidar took the pressure off Kohli on the run rate with his enterprising knock in a 99-ball partnership. Maxwell (33—18b) and Lomror (16—8b) provided the late impetus with cameos.
In their partnership, Patidar took the risks as Kohli settled in. It was the Madhya Pradesh batter’s maiden half-century and Kohli’s 43rd in IPLs. But their strike rates told a tale—Patidar’s 162.50 to Kohli’s 109.43.
Du Plessis form too is of concern for RCB. Barring his 88 against Punjab Kings and 96 against Lucknow Super Giants, the RCB captain has struggled with his other scores reading 5, 16, 8, 8, 5 and 23.
“We tried to get 175-180. They bowled well in the middle and kept us down. We started well with the ball but they played really well under pressure as they have in the tournament. After two bad performances with the bat, coming back was good. But the bowlers were taken down by good batting,” RCB skipper told the broadcaster.
When his spinners took two quick wickets, including Titans skipper Hardik Pandya in the 11th over, du Plessis would have fancied his team’s chances. The equation of 71 off 36 balls favoured RCB. But Miller hit spinner Wanindu Hasaranga for a four and six, taking 13 runs from the 15th over. Titans needed 58 off the last five overs and Tewatia pulled Siraj for two fours following four leg-byes, for a 15-run 16th over. He then hit Josh Hazlewood for a six and four. With 13 needed off 7 balls, Tewatia hit Harshal Patel for six. With seven needed off the last six balls, it was game over.