Royal Challengers Bangalore continues their march towards playoffs with a resounding win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday.
The good form in IPL 2020 continues for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). They finally get some sort of revenge against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on October 22 after being dismissed for 49 a few seasons ago. Virat Kohli’s men delivered a clinical performance at Sheikh Zayed Stadium at Abu Dhabi to move second in the league table.
After winning the toss, KKR decided to bat. However, things went horribly wrong for Eoin Morgan and his teammates as they couldn’t breach the three-figure mark. RCB comfortably chased down the total to make it seven wins out of ten games this season. Here are some important takeaways from the one-sided affair in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Mohammed Siraj repays faith of RCB
The last IPL campaign was a difficult one for Mohammed Siraj. He was conceding big runs without taking wickets. This year fortunes have changed for RCB and Siraj. The Indian bowler has been much better on the pitch with his bowling. His hard work was finally rewarded on Wednesday.
Siraj became the first bowler in IPL history to bowl consecutive maidens. The young pacer jolted KKR’s top order by taking three wickets inside the powerplay. His immaculate swing bowling set the tone for RCB in the game. He ended up with three wickets at the expense of nine runs in four overs. Siraj managed to repay the faith of RCB on Wednesday. The team will be hoping that he continues the good work.
KKR continue to struggle with batting
KKR may have five wins in IPL 2020, but the overall form of the batting unit has been a concern from the word go. All batsmen are yet to click together in this tournament. They are yet to find a good balance in the opening pair, while Nitish Rana has been struggling at the number three spot.
Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik have struggled to score fluently in the middle order. Andre Russell has also found it difficult to come up with big scores this season. The West Indian all-rounder didn’t play against RCB, but he is expected to return in the next game. KKR needs to shore up the batting order soon or else they risk losing the plot in the final segment of the group stage.
Race for fourth position is heating up
Courtesy of the heavy defeat of KKR on Wednesday, the race for the fourth position is nicely poised. Barring any disaster, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, and RCB look certain to be top three in the table. KKR has been holding on the fourth place for most of the tournament, but they are close to throwing it away at the crucial stage of the tournament.
The Kolkata based franchise has 10 points right now, while Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals have eight points. KXIP will not face the top three teams in the remaining games, so they have the upper hand in the fixture list. Meanwhile, RR is also slowly getting into the groove at the business end of the campaign. The race for the fourth position is surely going down to the wire.
By Kiran Thakare