First things first. Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Virat Kohli averted a hat-trick of first-ball ‘duck’, though he nearly fell for a third consecutive zero. However, his rough patch continued as he fell for nine against Rajasthan Royals in Pune on Tuesday.
Kohli’s dismissal triggered a top-order collapse from where RCB did not recover and eventually went down to RR by 29 runs. RR’s sixth win in eight matches take them to the top of the table with 12 points, pushing Gujarat Titans to second on Net Run Rate (RR has 0.561 and GT 0.396)
RCB batsmen failed to complement the tidy work of their bowlers, who did well to contain RR to 144 for eight, the lowest total in Pune this year. Until RCB’s 115 all out during the run chase made it the worse, that is.
RR found their heroes in lesser-known players, Riyan Parag taking four catches to add to his 56 not out while right-arm medium-pacer Kuldeep Sen picking up four wickets for 20 runs including those of Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell off successive deliveries in his first over.