RCB’s Dominating Victory over Punjab Keeps Bengaluru in IPL 2024 Playoffs Race

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) showcased their dominance against Punjab Kings (PBKS), with Virat Kohli’s explosive 92 off 47 balls stealing the spotlight.

Contributors to the significant victory included Cameron Green (46), Rajat Patidar (55), and the spin tandem of Karn Sharma (2-36) and Swapnil Singh (2-28).

RCB’s Dominating Victory over Punjab Keeps Bengaluru in IPL 2024 Playoffs Race

Punjab Kings 181 (Rossouw 61, Shashank 37, Siraj 3-43, Swapnil 2-28, Ferguson 2-29, Karn 2-36) were defeated by Royal Challengers Bengaluru 241 for 7 (Kohli 92, Patidar 55, Green 46, Harshal 3-38, Kaverappa 2-36) by 60 runs.

The cornerstones of Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s (RCB) fourth consecutive victory, this time against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Dharamsala, were Virat Kohli’s blistering 92 off 47 and his sensational direct smash to run Shashank Singh out. The outcome eliminated PBKS from the running but preserved RCB’s hopes of qualifying for the IPL 2024 playoffs, although only narrowly.

RCB elected to bat first and quickly amassed 241 for 7, with to strikes from Cameron Green (46 off 27) and Rajat Patidar (55 off 23). With Kohli, both had successful partnerships that yielded scores of 76 off 32 and 92 off 46, respectively.

The RCB’s spinners, Karn Sharma and Swapnil Singh, were efficient through the early middle overs, dismissing Rilee Rossouw in the ninth, Jitesh Sharma in the eleventh, and Liam Livingstone in the twelfth. In response, PBKS got off to a quick start.
It was game over for PBKS since the needed rate was now far higher than the run rate. After 17 overs, they were all out at 181.

The Virat Kohli Show

Nevertheless, Kohli entered the game as the IPL’s leading run scorer. After being given a reprieve on zero, though, he proceeded to play one of his best innings of a brilliant season, hitting boundaries with his frequently flawless footwork between the covers, through midwicket, and down the pitch.

Despite starting the batting, he faced just 14 balls in the powerplay and didn’t have much strike. However, he was soon striking at well over 150 after he found competent allies in Green and Patidar, the more assertive of the two in their stand. It was a classic Kohli innings, with of strong running and powerful wrist flicks, but he also found his six-hitting stroke towards the end, finishing with six maximums.

In the 18th over, he appeared about to hit his second triple-figure score of the season when he mishandled an Arshdeep Singh ball and was caught at deep cover. It appears that Kohli expends more energy on the field than just his irrational gestures.

The PBKS innings required 92 runs off 39 balls, and as long as Shashank remained at the crease, they had a chance. It was the fourth delivery of the 14th over. But at that moment, Kohli took off from deep midwicket, racing towards the ball, swooping on it, and skidding it mid-dive towards the one wicket he had to aim at, finding his goal. Sam Curran had lost one at midwicket and asked for two.

Not having dived, Shashank was centimetres short of his ground and not as devoted to the run as Kohli was to this piece of fielding. PBKS was reduced to 151 for 6 as he was out for 39 off 19 balls. In the end, they would lose their final five wickets for thirty runs.

RCB Spinners Dominates

However, leg-spinner Karn and left-arm spinner Swapnil had also made crucial blows before to that Kohli run out. In the opening over of the innings, Swapnil dismissed Prabhsimran Singh. However, he returned in the middle overs to force Liam Livingstone to give a meek leading edge into the covers.

Karn also took two significant wickets. In the ninth over, he caught Rossouw, the opposition’s top batsman, at long-on. In the eleventh over, he bowled a powerful, meaty legbreak that clattered into Jitesh’s stumps.

At the beginning, PBKS did appear capable of pursuing 242, even though they would ultimately fall far short. With the fielding limits in place, Rossouw hit seven fours and a six, leading them to a 75-run score during the powerplay.

Prior to being eventually dismissed by Karn, Rossouw was still smashing the seam bowlers for RCB, especially when he cruised to a half-century off of just 21 balls. Aside from Jonny Bairstow’s 27 off 16, Shashank’s hit was another significant factor.

Also Read: IPL Winners List From 2008 to 2023: Records, Teams, and Historic Moments

Kohli’s Slog-Sweep Mastery: A Game-Changing Strategy to Counter Spin in IPL 2024

After six straight losses, Kohli and RCB skipper Faf du Plessis attribute their comeback to “honest conversations” in the dressing room.

According to Virat Kohli, the sweep has been a crucial scoring option for him to counter spin, particularly in the middle overs of this IPL. Kohli relied on the same shot that upset the spin trio of Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, and R Sai Kishore of the Gujarat Titans earlier in the season in Ahmedabad, to score runs against wristspinner Rahul Chahar and all-around spinner Liam Livingstone.

The slog-sweep and the slog, which opened up other scoring options for him, contributed 26 of the 92 runs that he scored off 47 balls at a strike rate of 195.74 against Punjab Kings on Thursday in Dharamsala. He was dropped on 0 and 10, but he continued to bat with a high degree of intent to lead Royal Challengers Bengaluru to 241 for 7, which proved to be 60 runs too many for PBKS.

RCB’s Dominating Victory over Punjab Keeps Bengaluru in IPL 2024 Playoffs Race

“To the spinners, I’ve pulled out the slog-sweep (laughs). After being named Player-of-the-Match, Kohli stated, “I didn’t practice it at all; I just mentally put myself in that situation.” I’ve hit it a lot in the past, so I know I can hit it. I simply thought that I needed to take a little more chances, and that shot was one I used to make frequently in the past. I’m constantly trying to expose that side of the field against the spin, so it’s also helping me to hit off the back foot.

“In my opinion, that has played a major role in this IPL. Therefore, I believe that all it takes is a little more conviction and the removal of the supporting notion, “what if you get out?” This IPL, I’ve been able to stay ahead of that thought, which has really aided me in the middle overs by maintaining both my strike rate and the team’s scoring rate.”

With four straight wins thanks to Kohli’s knock, RCB was able to maintain their playoff hopes. After winning their second game of the season and their first at home against PBKS, RCB had fallen into a slump as they dropped their next six games.

They’ve made personnel changes and discovered a winning combination for away and home games. The pivotal moment in their season, according to Kohli, was their one-run loss to the Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens, where Lockie Ferguson was run out on the final ball. RCB came dangerously close to chasing down 223 against one of the tournament’s top teams.

“The only way to go through a long tournament is to be absolutely honest with yourself,” Kohli stated. “We simply weren’t good enough during the competition’s opening half. That’s the exact reason we find ourselves in a scenario where a lot of things need to go our way once more. After winning our first game of the season, we suffered consecutive losses. We lost most of the close games, but there were a few that we won.”

“In the changing room, we had a candid conversation. That is insufficient. We need to put on our socks and show a little more bravery with the bat and ball when we play at this level. The first place we went was Kolkata, where we bowled in the powerplay and continued to chase wickets throughout the match.”

RCB’s Dominating Victory over Punjab Keeps Bengaluru in IPL 2024 Playoffs Race

“It got to the point where we said, “You know what, don’t look at the [points] table and play for the self-respect we have as cricketers.” It was at that time that it went to the wire, which gave us the conviction that this is the kind of cricket we want to play. To get to this point, we have endured a great deal of suffering and traveled a great distance. Therefore, we can’t just go out and perform in a way that doesn’t honor the fans and make you proud. They show up in large numbers, and we simply cannot continue to let them down in that way.”

In line with Kohli’s remarks, RCB skipper Faf du Plessis praised his bowlers and hitters for being able to keep up with the IPL’s fast-paced style of play.

Du Plessis stated, “I believe we’ve scored 200+ in the last five-six games.” “It’s really encouraging to observe the approach and aggressiveness. Halfway through the season, we had some really great conversations about how we felt like we were repeating the same mistakes. We made a few adjustments to our strategy for playing the game, and using aggression with the bat was undoubtedly one of them.

As you can see, both the game and the approach have changed. It’s no longer possible to play T20 cricket as usual. Then, in the powerplay, we didn’t get many wickets with the ball. We recently had a conversation about increasing our powerplay wicket total, so we rotated a few players. You can see that we have six-seven alternatives when you look at our attack. That’s why it’s worked so brilliantly.

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