Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) finally got off to winning ways after their maiden victory of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season against Kings Xi Punjab at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Saturday. Skipper Kohli (67) in the company of AB de Villiers (59 not out) scripted a superb run chase, sharing an 85-run stand to lay the foundation, while Marcus Stoinis (28 off 16) played a crucial cameo as RCB overhauled the target of 174 with four balls to spare.
Former South African skipper Ab de Villiers was judged as the ‘Man of The Match’ following the match and RCB captain Virat Kohli was all praises about the 35-year-old opener, hailing his IPL colleague as ‘the best player of his generation’. Speaking about their season so far, Kohli also insisted that despite their setbacks the team still have their desire in place.
“Maybe, he really enjoyed playing here (grins). I said to him (AB), that he is probably the best player of our generation and he showed it today. (On RCB finally getting a win) Yes, I was telling Gary (Kirsten) that I had brought two points for the side after my recent trip and we got it today (chuckles).
“Most pleasing thing is coming for an interview at this time (Winning captain is interviewed during presentation ceremony as opposed to directly after the match, which is the case for the losing side), and not immediately out of the field. Great feeling to get across the line. Have been unlucky in couple of games. Won’t say we’ve been unlucky in every game, but a couple of games we should’ve closed out before this. After so many setbacks, the guys had desire. That’s one word we spoke about,” he said.
Speaking about how the match panned out, Kohli said: “We thought 190 will be par and to restrict them to 170 was a great effort. To pick up four wickets in eight overs in the middle for 60 runs was an outstanding effort. We knew Chris was going to bat deep.
“So many opportunities to get dot balls. We knew if we bowled decently to him, we might restrict them.”
“The main difference tonight was that our bowlers came back well, which is key in this format. We kept coming back with the ball and then got partnerships with the bat. (On every game being a knockout) It is, but for now, we can’t get too ahead of ourselves,” he added.
Having had a tough run, de Villiers said after the match that the sole reason behind him quitting international cricket was that he wanted to be sharp for the little time that he is on the field as it is impossible to maintain momentum for 10-11 months a year having played top-flight cricket for so long.