IPL 2024: Virat Kohli’s 77 helps RCB register first win of season

By BD Narayankar

Bengaluru, (UNI) Vintage performance from Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) to clinch the first win of IPL 2024 by prevailing over Punjab Kings by four wickets at Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday.

Despite early nerves, Kohli demonstrated his class with the bat, capitalising on opportunities and finding the boundary consistently.

Kohli was lucky when Jonny Bairstow dropped him at slips and the ball went for a boundary. His innings, though, were punctuated with exquisite shots, including some against the formidable Kagiso Rabada.

However, Kohli faced some setbacks as his partners including Faf du Plessis (3), Cameron Green (3) and Rajat Patidar (18) fell quickly, leaving him with the responsibility to anchor the innings.

Despite the pressure, Kohli reached a milestone, achieving his 100th fifty-plus score in T20 cricket.

As the match approached its climax, Kohli upped the ante, displaying his intent to guide RCB to victory.

Although he fell for a commendable 77 off 49 deliveries, his contribution had already laid a solid foundation for RCB’s pursuit of the target.

Following Kohli’s dismissal, the onus fell on the remaining batsmen to see RCB through. With contributions from players like Dinesh Karthik (28* off 10 balls 3x4s 2x6s) and Mahipal Lomror (17* off 8 2x4s 1×6), RCB managed to keep the chase alive, thrilling the fans with their resilient batting display.

The final overs witnessed some nerve-wracking moments, with boundaries and sixes keeping the excitement levels high. Ultimately, it was Dinesh Karthik’s heroics in the last over that sealed the victory for RCB, much to the delight of the fans at the stadium.

Earlier, the middle-order stutter threatened to derail the Punjab Kings’ innings, but Shashank Singh’s explosive cameo ensured they finished on a high note. His aggressive knock of an unbeaten 21 off 8 balls with one boundary and 2 sixes, injected crucial momentum into the innings, propelling the Kings to a competitive total of 176/6.

Despite losing wickets at crucial junctures, Punjab Kings managed to maintain a respectable run rate throughout their innings, thanks to contributions from various batsmen.

Shikhar Dhawan’s steady innings (45 off 37 5x4s 1×6) at the top provided a solid platform, while Prabhsimran Singh’s (25 off 17 3x4s)partnership with him stabilized the innings after the early loss of Jonny Bairstow (8).

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