We witnessed an unbelievable game of cricket which went down to the wire, and it was Royal Challengers Bangalore who held their nerves and managed to upstage Kolkata Knight Riders by 10 runs. 

The Eden Gardens witnessed a masterclass from Virat Kohli, who along with Moeen Ali helped RCB’s total score reach a massive 213 in 20 overs. The visitors’ weak bowling was exposed again, but key wickets taken by Dale Steyn ensured RCB remained slightly ahead in the race to the finish line.

However, the Bangalore side found it difficult to stop Andre Russell and Nitish Rana towards the end of the game. A sluggish knock from Robin Uthappa did not help the cause of the home team. Had he played a little more aggressively, KKR could have crossed the finish line comfortably. The team has now lost four matches in a row.

Let’s look at the factors which took the game away from the hosts:

1. Kuldeep Yadav conceded 27 runs in the 16th over 

After they were put to bat first, the Royal Challengers Bangalore had a sedate start. They lost the wickets of Parthiv Patel and Akshdeep Nath early in the innings. While the wicket-keeper batsman scored 11 runs, the latter could get just 13 runs. 

After these early blows, Virat Kohli and Moeen Ali started to rebuild RCB’s inning but were struggling.

However, real carnage came in the 16th over bowled by Kuldeep Yadav. 27 runs were scored off the first five balls before Ali was dismissed off the final delivery. Until this point, Virat Kohli was going just normal. He was on 55 from 42 balls. 

He then decided to shift gears in the final overs. He faced 16 off the last 24 balls and scored an additional 45 runs to register his fifth IPL ton. Marcus Stoinis, too played a handful cameo at the end, scoring 17 runs off 8 balls, which eventually helped RCB finish at 213 in 20 overs.

2. Moeen Ali bowling the final over of the innings

When Dre Russ walked out to bat, KKR were 79/4 in 11.5 overs and the target was looking a bit out of reach. However, he along with Nitish Rana hammered the opposition bowlers all around the ground to make the target look well within their range. With this, the equation came down to 24 runs off 6 balls. 

At this stage, Dale Steyn, Mohammad Siraj, Marcus Stoinis, and Navdeep Saini had bowled their quota of four overs, and Yuzvendra Chahal had conceded 45 runs in three overs. For RCB, Chahal bowling the final over was not the best option available as Dre Russ was going after him. It was then skipper Virat Kohli went with the experience of Moeen Ali. 

Ali was able to bowl in the right areas and helped Bangalore register their second win of the season.