The clash between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Friday, turned out to be a cracker-jacker of a game as batsmen from both sides smashed boundaries and sixes all around the park and kept the fans entertained throughout.

However, RCB won the game and captain Virat Kohli was named man of the match, for his brilliant hundred. After losing the toss, Virat Kohli batted with positive intent right from the first over and he was well-supported by Moeen Ali, who scored 66 runs off just 28 balls. On the back of Virat’s 100 and Moeen Ali’s lightning cameo, RCB managed to score 213 runs in 20 overs.

Virat scored his first 50 runs off 40 balls but his next 50 runs came off just 17 balls. The RCB captain scored his 5th IPL hundred and became the first captain ever to score 5 centuries in the Indian Premier League. Chris Gayle is the only other player who has scored six centuries in the IPL.

In the second half of the match, Dale Steyn, who was making his RCB comeback, bowled well with the new ball and took 2 early wickets to push KKR on the back foot. After 5 overs, KKR were 33 for the loss of three wickets and two new batsmen at the crease. 

Dinesh Karthik and KKR made a big mistake. 

Robbin Uthappa’s strike rate in IPL 2019 so far is 119.56, which is below average for a number 4 batsman in T20 cricket. After the fall of the second wicket, Dinesh Karthik should have promoted Nitish Rana ahead of Robin Uthappa or himself.

Rana has been in top form this season and he is striking the ball very well. While chasing massive totals in T20 cricket, the batting order should be made flexible and big hitters should be promoted to play more balls and put the attack back on the bowling team. 

The decision to send Robin Uthappa, who is no more the hitter he used to be, at number 4 when the score was 24 for 2 in 4 overs was a very poor and defensive move by the KKR think-tank. Uthappa scored 9 runs off 20 balls. This allowed RCB to increase the speed of the game. Uthappa scored 9 runs at a strike of 45.0 when the required run rate was in excess of 10 runs per over right from the first ball of the game. He showed no intent and allowed RCB bowlers to build pressure by bowling dot balls. 

Overdoing the 'finisher' tag

Sometimes, the badge of ‘finisher’ makes batsmen and captains take bad decisions for the team. In this case, Karthik, who considers himself and Andre Russell as “finishers” didn’t take the responsibility and made no out-of-the-box changes to the batting order, even after losing both the openers cheaply. 

KKR lost the match by a margin of 10 runs and the game was much closer than the scoreboard will tell you. Andre Russell and young Nitish Rana were in the zone and had Uthappa not wasted those 20 balls, the result could have been different.