The Indian Premier League is now reaching it’s most crucial phase wherein every win and loss has a huge impact on the points table. The 30th match of the tournament saw Royal Challengers Bangalore taking on the Kolkata Knight Riders – and knowing the passion with which the captains of these 2 teams play i.e. Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir respectively; one ought to expect an absolute thriller in the making.

Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Date 02 May 2016
Venue M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
185/7 (20)   189/5 (19.1)
Knight Riders won by 5 wickets

The toss favored the KKR captain, Gautam Gambhir, who made 3 changes to his side – Lynn, Morkel and Manish Pandey found another go in the team. Kohli made 4 changes, Gayle back, Binny, Arvind and Chahal made their way back into the side.

The Bangalore crowd expected Gayle to make for the lost time and make his presence feel – having missed around 3-4 matches having to fly back home to meet his newborn daughter but it wasn’t to be as Gayle departed early for 7.

Rahul was yet again impressive and raced to quick 32 ball fifty, proving again that he’s someone who has very well adapted to this format and it isn’t fair to label him a cricketer with limitations in limited overs cricket. It was however Kohli, who on the other end was playing cautiously, making a 50 but taking 44 deliveries to make his 52.

Rahul and Kohli both lost their wickets, scoring 52 respectively. Upon their dismissal, the run rate which was going extremely strong was hit. RCB were 92-1 in 11.1 overs but fell to 130-4 in 17 overs – it obviously seemed that the prospect of reaching 180+ which at one time looked very much plausible was looking distant enough.

However, due to a poor 18th over from Umesh Yadav – in which Watson took him to the cleaners, smashing 23 runs in one over alone got RCB on the right track to achieve score of 180. The last over from Yadav again failed to impress as he gave 18 runs in the over – the RCB managed to score at over 12 runs in the last 5 overs which got them to a total almost around 10 runs above par.

Kolkata in it’s chase were hit by the early wicket of Uthappa – which put immense pressure on Gambir. The KKR decided to promote Lynn up the order but his weakness against spin was visible from the moment that Chahal came into bowl – managing to beat him on the very first ball but a huge LBW appeal went against the RCB, it didn’t come back to hurt them though as the last delivery of the same over got Lynn cleaned up and KKR were 34-2 after 5 overs.

Gambhir did look comfortable in his stay at the crease but the constant pressure of the required run rate rising resulted in Gambhir getting dismissed for 37 in 29 balls. Soon followed the wicket of Manish Pandey and KKR were in all sort of troubles at 69-4 and it seemed that the match was very much over for KKR, who required to make runs at 13 to the over.

But, it’s often said “it’s not over, until it’s officially over” – the match saw a partnership that cricket fans will talk about for the remainder of the season, a partnership that changed the course of the match. Yes, a partnership between two explosive batsmen in Russell and Pathan.

A dropped catch of Russell from Rahul at wicket-keeping position gave him a life and it turned out to be COSTLY – not only did Russell went on to make 39 in 24 balls but stuck around to bat with Pathan whose 60* in 29 balls seized the match for KKR – thrashing Watson, squeezing the off-side boundary against Shamsi and showing apt aggression against Aaron, the day truly went to Yusuf Pathan whose form was starting to become a concern for KKR but NOT ANY MORE.

KKR who fell to 3rd in the points table before this match, again move ahead to the 2nd spot. RCB’s campaign is hit by another loss, their 5th in total of 7 matches.

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