Eoin Morgan chose to bat first after winning the toss and sent Tripathi to open with Shubhman Gill. After both the batsmen safely negated Morris’s threat for 3 runs in the first over, Mohammad Siraj blew them away with their pace. He first had Tripathi caught behind by de Villiers, then went through Rana’s defences with a fine inswinger the very next ball. Gill lost his patience and tried to pull Saini in the next over, but went as far as mid-on only as Morris completed a simple catch. Banton, who had hit a couple of confident shots, was another victim of Siraj’s dream spell, as he bowled two maiden overs, first ever bowler to do so in IPL.
KKR’s score at the end of four overs read a sorry 14-4, and they were in desperate need of a partnership. Eoin Morgan and his deputy Karthik tried to stem the flow of wickets, but Chahal came to outfox Karthik with a googly in the 9th over as the KKR keeper went for a 14 ball 4. Cummins ate a lot of dot balls but didn’t get going either, and after surviving a maiden off Sundar, gave away his wicket to Chahal in the 13th over. Morgan had finally decided to go for the big hits with the score at 52-6 at the end to 15 overs. After a couple of boundaries, he found Gurkeerat at the boundary and that was the final nail in the coffin. Kuldeep Yadav and Ferguson got a few runs here and there as KKR had to settle for 84-8 at the end of their 20 overs.
Chasing a ridiculously low score, Finch and Padikkal gave RCB a steady start. After a couple of quiet overs, they got a few boundaries going as neither Cummins nor Krishna were able to give them a breakthrough. KKR’s last match hero Ferguson was given the ball as late as the 7th over and struck immediately as he scalped Finch. One ball later, there was some confusion between Padikkal and number three Gurkeerat, as the former was run out.
Kohli joined the crease with the score at 46-2, and with the required rate only 3 runs per over, it was by no means going to be challenging. Gurkeerat made most of his opportunity as he helped himself with three fours against Chakravarthy in his knock of 21 and Kohli too chipped in with 18 runs as he guided his team home with more than six overs to spare and eight wickets in hand.
-- Jatin Shad