Following Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) maiden victory of the ongoing season, captain Virat Kohli has been fined after his team maintained a slow over-rate during their Indian Premier League (IPL) match against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Saturday. Also Read - Jasprit Bumrah Pays Tribute to Mumbai Indians Teammate Lasith Malinga, Says IPL Won't be Same Without You
As it was his team’s first offence of the season under the IPL’s Code of Conduct relating to minimum over-rate offences, Kohli was fined Rs 12 lakh for the breach. Also Read - IPL 2021 Auction: Three Players Royal Challengers Bangalore Should Target for Upcoming Season
The Indian cricket skipper and AB de Villiers guided RCB to their morale-boosting first win in the 12th edition of IPL as they thumped Kings XI Punjab by 8 wickets in Mohali. Kohli (67) in the company of de Villiers (59 not out) scripted a superb run-chase, sharing an 85-run stand to lay the foundation. RCB skipper blasted eight boundaries, while de Villiers clobbered two sixes and five hits across the rope in his 38-ball innings. Also Read - IPL Mini Auction: Full List of Players Retained by Eight Teams on Deadline Day
R Ashwin, the KXIP skipper and M Ashwin did well to slow RCB down despite Virat Kohli’s brilliance. While Ashwin picked 1 for 30 off his 4 overs, the less-experienced Ashwin bowled his 4 overs economically, giving away only 24 runs.
Defending 174, Punjab bowlers not only failed in getting wickets but also leaked runs as the visitors crossed the line with four balls to spare.
“It is a 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,” Kohli said. “After so many setbacks, the guys had desire. That’s one word we spoke about. We thought 190 will be par and to restrict them to 170 was a great effort. To pick up 4 wickets in 8 overs in the middle for 60 runs was a great effort.”
AB de Villiers, who was adjudged the Man of the match, said it was a long wait for the team. “Waited for a long time for this, so we’re very happy. It’s a very small step in the right direction, but also a big one,” he said.
“I’ve got too much respect of the game to be upset about that, to get ahead of myself, to get too hard on myself. It needs one knock to get back in that confidence zone, and hopefully I can maintain that now.”
De Villiers had retired from international cricket to prolong his career in T20 cricket. “I’ve decided not to play international cricket – to be as sharp as I can in the other forms of cricket around the world. Can’t keep playing 10-11 months a year and keep being sharp after 15 of my career.”
RCB received a big boost after seasoned South African pacer Dale Steyn was named as a replacement for injured Australian Nathan Coulter-Nile. “It was a fantastic move to get Dale involved. We all know what he’s capable of. One thing for sure is he’ll give 200% with every ball. We know what we have to do.”
“We have to win a lot of games of cricket. The next step is Mumbai, the Wankhede stadium. We love playing cricket there.”
(With Agency Inputs)