Mohali, Apr 20, 2023, IANS
Mohali, April 20 (IANS): Royal Challengers Bangalore stand-in captain Virat Kohli stated that the feeling within his team at the half-way stage of the game was that the target of 175 for Punjab Kings was a good at the pitch of IS Bindra PCA Stadium in an IPL 2023 match, here on Thursday.
Kohli and Faf du Plessis, who came as an impact player due to a bruised rib, took Bangalore to 137/0 in 16 overs. Du Plessis was the star of Bangalore's batting with his 56-ball 84, hitting five fours and as many sixes
On the other hand, Kohli made a 47-ball 59 but he suffered a slowdown in the middle overs as Bangalore lost all four wickets in the death overs, ending up at 174/4 in 20 overs, which was enough eventually to get their first away win of IPL 2023 by 24 runs.
"In the first half, the conditions changed drastically. Faf batted outstandingly well. We thought of extending our partnership for as long as possible so that it could give us an extra 20 runs.
After overs 7-8, as soon as the ball was getting bashed into the square, the ball really started getting scuffed up. We changed our strategy then to bat deeper. Had we stayed in, we could have given a crack at 190-200. We felt 175 was a good target on this pitch," said Kohli in the post-match presentation ceremony.
While bowling for RCB, Mohammed Siraj breathed fire in the powerplay and death overs to clinch his best-ever figures (4/21) in the IPL. He was well-supported by Wanindu Hasaranga, Wayne Parnell and Harshal Patel. With some superb fielding coming into play, Bangalore managed to bowl out Punjab for 150 in 18.2 overs.
"I told them that was more than enough. All we had to do was be confident and hold the ball in hand looking to get wickets. The way you win games in T20 cricket is by taking wickets. At the half-way stage, the idea was to take the game to the opposition in the first six overs. We broke the game open right there and our fielding was brilliant as well," added Kohli.
The right-handed batter further remarked that Bangalore will continue to stick to their processes and be in the present.
"This (win over Punjab) does not make us an invincible team or the league position before today did not make us a bad team. The table cannot define your mood, when you have just played five or six games. Maintain our processes and stay in the moment," said Kohli.
Meanwhile, Punjab skipper Sam Curran rued his batters' failures on not being able to chase down 175, though he applauded his bowlers for a fightback in the last four overs.
Barring 40s from Prabhsimran Singh and Jitesh Sharma, none of the Punjab batters got going.
"I thought we bowled really well as a group. The way Faf and Virat played was good. I did not think they got away from us too much. In the end, we just did not bat well enough. They bowled pretty well as well but we lost wickets. The conditions were quite strange as well. We thought it would rain at one stage, with all the lightning and thunder," said Curran.
Punjab's next game in IPL 2023 will be against five-time winners Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday evening and Curran stated the team will take learnings from Thursday's loss to be better prepared for the face-off against Mumbai.
"It was a really good wicket with good-sized boundaries, you want a fair contest between bat and ball. Just a couple of things with the bat that we might regret but we move on to Saturday. The games come thick and fast, so it is about learning from this," the PBKS skipper said.
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