Virat Kohli’s luck is running out. The RCB captain is in a fix with Bangalore acquiring a paper-tiger status. Their line-up looks superb on paper with batting stars like Chris Gayle, Rilee Rossouw, Dinesh Karthik, AB de Villiers and Kohli himself. On the bowling front they have Mitchell Starc, a star performer in the 2015 Cricket World Cup along with Yazuvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, David Wiese and Iqbal Abdulla. But they are still losing the matches probably on account of factors unrelated to individual talents. It is a bit like Delhi Daredevils last season, who couldn’t gel as team despite big stars ornamenting their side. On Wednesday at Bangalore, RCB would have liked to reverse the trend, after allowing Mumbai Indians to get away with their first tournament victory this season. They didn’t have Chris Gayle but in scoring a win, Kohli could have used Gayle’s absence to erase the impression that RCB’s batting was zero without Gayle. Kohli also required redeeming himself because of late; he had been hounded by bad media which linked his cricketing failures to an assumed interference by his film-star girlfriend. But in the end, nothing worked Kohli’s way as CSK hoisted 181 after some initial hiccups and when RCB came on to chase, Ashish Nehra’s devastating spell made life difficult for the RCB batsmen. Kohli’s personal effort was not enough to lift the team out of the woods as they suffered another morale-sapping defeat.
After winning the toss, Virat Kohli opted to take the field after rain had delayed the start by about 20 minutes but there was no reduction in overs. RCB had a momentary illusion of good tidings, when Brendon McCullum was deceived by the leg-spin of Yazuvendra Chahal in the second over. As he tried to drive Chahal, McCullum only managed a flying edge that was well taken by Rossouw at point. Suresh Raina joined Dwayne Smith and the two batsmen carried the score to 70 in the ninth over before Smith poked at a ball from Harshal Patel to be caught behind. But Raina continued with vengeance and if CSK could reach 181/8, his 32-ball 62 had a telling contribution to that score. Raina blasted Harshal Patel for successive fours, then lofted Wiese into the sightscreen in the Powerplay. It was Raina’s dominance on the spin bowlers that worked at Bangalore on Wednesday. Dhoni at the other end looked out-of-sorts and he was content in Raina taking the major part of the strike in their partnership. When Raina got out, CSK had reached 124 in the 13th over and from there crossing 200 was easy. But other CSK batsmen, with the exception of Faf du Plessis, couldn’t sustain the rate of scoring and reached 181/8 in 20 overs.
With a 182-run victory target, RCB began their chase with no Gayle in their side. Manvinder Bisla struck two four off Ishwar Pandey in the first over and the next over from Mohit Sharma was plundered for 19 by Bisla and Rilee Russouw. Just when it looked that RCB would turn the tables on CSK, Ashish Nehra removed both openers in his first over and Dinesh Karthik failed once again to make it 3 wickets for CSK. Everything now depended on Kohli and de Villiers. But to RCB’s misfortune, de Villiers succumbed to a run-out decision in the 12th over with 85 runs on board. The scoring rate began dropping as Kohli exercised caution with quick fall of wickets. Though the skipper had the company of David Wiese and Sarfaraz Khan, he failed to uplift RCB and their innings could only reach 154/8 in the 20th over. Kohli scored a half century but that couldn’t give him the pleasure. In the end, it was an easy 27-run victory for CSK, who played a better game than RCB in every department.