David Willey bowled Venkatesh Iyer (3) and Mandeep Singh (0) off consecutive deliveries. However, opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz steadied the innings with 57 off 44, hitting six fours and three sixes. At the other end, though, Kolkata kept losing wickets. Skipper Nitish Rana fell to Michael Bracewell for 1, while Karn Sharma took out Gurbaz and Andre Russell (0).
At 89/5, Rinku Singh joined forces with Shardul Thakur. The duo added 103 in belligerent fashion to lift KKR. Thakur played a sensational knock, scoring 68 off 29 balls. He struck nine fours and three sixes. On the other hand, Rinku contributed 46 off 33 balls with the help of two fours and three sixes.
Chasing 205, RCB were never really in the hunt once their openers were dismissed. Sunil Narine (2/16) began the damage by cleaning up Virat Kohli for 21 off 18 balls. Faf du Plessis was the next to go, bowled by Varun Chakravarthy (4/15) for 23 off 12 balls. Chakravarthy also cleaned up Glenn Maxwell (5) and Harshal Patel (0) in one over.
RCB were 61/5 when Shahbaz Ahmed (1) was taken out by Narine. Young leg-spinner Suyash Sharma, came in as the impact player, and picked up 3/30 to reduce RCB to 96/9. David Willey (20 not out) and Akash Deep (17) ensured RCB finished on a somewhat decent total of 123.
Speaking after the game, Player of the Match Shardul Thakur said, “I don't even know where it came from but looking at the scorecard at that time, everyone would have thought we are struggling. But your subconscious mind takes over. You also have to have skills to do that at the higher level, but we also work hard in the nets.
“There is a period where we can slog it in the nets. Coaching staff do the throwdowns, and give us the option of range-hitting. And you know the pitches - they always suit the batsmen, don't they? Suyash bowled exceptionally well, and we know the quality Sunil and Varun have. They have fun, take wickets. This was a perfect day.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent