Rana bangs a length ball for six over long off, but RCB win the game
12.10amWell, it's Saturday already in India, and that only means one thing. Another double-header not long from now. We hope you enjoyed KKR v RCB, as we saw a glorious exhibition of batting from the likes of Moeen Ali, Virat Kohli, Andre Russell and Nitish Rana. This promises to set us up for an exciting weekend of action. It's Rajasthan Royals hosting Mumbai Indians in the first game on Saturday, which will be followed by Kings XI Punjab's visit to Delhi Capitals. Lots for all four teams to play for. Join us then at ESPNcricinfo...for the moment, this is Debayan Sen signing off on behalf of Saurabh Somani and the rest of the crew. Good night
Virat Kohli is the player of the match, tells Pommie Mbangwa; "Felt really good, especially winning here. It was crucial for us to come here and get a win. Not walking to an interview straight after the game is a relief. You have to leave it to the bowler in those (end overs) situations. I think the way Stoinis bowled that 19th over was very good. Those three balls were crucial in the end, and in the end Moeen showed composure. Our communication around the second time was to get about 175. A bit of luck went our way, and we never thought we would get 200+. Moeen took the momentum from them and landed it back in our lap. He said, 'I'm going to go now' and I just asked him to go for it. He targetted the smaller boundaries and gave us some momentum in those 2-3 overs. In the absence of AB, I had to bat long, but Moeen allowed me to settle in. I would have otherwise have had to go earlier. Before leaving, I told AB I will get a hundred for you, so he must be pretty happy. In the end, death overs will be difficult. The ball travels quickly, and the pitch is hard, and Russell is hitting the ball as well as anyone I know has. But Steyn used his experience well, and that allowed Saini to also follow up. Picking up wickets is crucial, and we did that today."
Gautam: "Drop Gurney and bring Warrier in, so that Uthappa can be dropped and Joe Denly can come in"
karthick: "When I am bored, I eat peanuts, Dre Russ when he is bored, he hits sixes....."
Sk: "Kohli is always criticized about his captaincy, but today's decision to bowl Moeen in the last over was really a masterpiece, just giving credits where it's due." --- Yes, a decent point there. He could have gone for Chahal and Negi, and might have been tempted because both would have taken the ball away from Russell. Or maybe Moeen was brought on to deal with the left-handed Rana, who took first strike? Either way, that first ball that went down leg side but wasn't called a wide was important too
Jothish: "I am really worried about WC now after seeing Indian mystery spin duo went for 7-0-104-1 at around 15RPO. Hope they find the momentum before WC "
Anish: "KKR will look back at it and think if only Gill and Uthappa had made 10 more runs in their combined 31 balls. It could have taken them to a win." --- Yes, it was a shame, because Gill early on played a few beautiful shots straight to fielders. And Uthappa played a delicious extra cover drive for four, but really struggled to get the ball going properly
Bharath Seervi with another gem - 205 runs in the last six overs from both sides, the most every in any T20
Marcus Stoinis: "They nearly stole it from us there. It hasn't been great for us. You take the confidence from this, learnings from this, and hopefully carry on with the momentm. I try to keep things simple. I enjoy the contest (bowling to Russell). I think you can't get too full, and you just have to accept that one or two will go for six."
Dinesh Karthik: "The way Moeen Ali batted, took the game away from us. We could have bowled better. I thought their score was 20-25 too many. When a player like Virat plays, that's what he does. He played a brilliant knock in the end. (On KKR batting) The ball was seaming a little bit. The wicket was a little sticky, and towards the end we thought we could get the score, but looking back their score was 20 runs too many. This is a hard wicket for spinners to bowl on. We wanted to take the spinners on, and kudos to the way RCB played. They did the small things better and deserved to win. If we get the winning feel again, it would start rolling again. If we do the right things, we can get back to winning."
11.47pm RCB get the win, but the celebrations are muted, as KKR really made a fist of this. That 111-run partnership between Nitish Rana and Andre Russell came at a run rate of 14.75, and S Rajesh tells me this was the sixth-fastest partnership in all editions of the IPL. Terrific entertainment, but that peculiarly slow middle period costs Kolkata in the end. Great result for the league, as RCB keep their playoff hopes alive, and also don't allow KKR to get away from the middle of the pack
length, and he smacks this towards midwicket. There's a throw rifled in at the non-striker's end, and he's walking off. Russell is gone, as Moeen Ali whips the bails off. What a knock from Russell here, this time in a losing cause
full ball, and he looks to go over long off, but misses. That could be the game, right there!
Raghu ifmr: "Is Dre Russ the best finisher at the moment in world? It's not just brutal power, it's sensible brutal power and it's twice as dangerous."
length, and he has hit this over long on for six!
Tushar: "I told you to turn off your predictor. KKR's chance --1.74 percent? "
full ball, and he gets an inside edge towards long leg. Russell takes the single and refuses the second
goes for a full ball, and Rana moves across to the off side. No wide given! Rana tries a sweep, but misses
Anuj: "This is ridiculous hitting !"
The ball's been handed to Moeen Ali, for his first over of the night
Four sixes to win this, you reckon?
Hat-trick of sixes in what was an exceptional over otherwise from Stoinis!
yorker attempted, and he still drop-kicks this straight over the bowler, and just over long off
Shoaib: "Not a single Yorker from RCB bowlers.. What you can expect if your bowling coach is Ashish Nehra" --- To be fair, he bowled it pretty well
full, on off stump, and he has hammered this straight down the pitch over long off. Hits the sightscreen, as Eden Gardens rises to greet his fity...off just 21 balls!
Deepayan : "Game changer of the match -> Robbie Uthappa"
Not over yet, is this?
short ball, and he has struck this over midwicket for a huge six!
short ball, and he ducks under this one. Well bowled. Russell probably thought this was going to go down the leg side, but it follows him and is a dot ball! Gold dust!
full toss, outside off, and he crashes this towards cover. Moeen Ali stops this! RCB inch ever closer!
tries another full ball on the pads, but Russell walks across and it will be called a wide. No margin for error on the on-side
SWAYAM SHASHI K: "All that RCB need is 4 dot balls to win "
full ball, and hits him on the pads. Runs all the way down towards fine leg, but he wasn't playing a shot there, so no leg byes on offer. Good ball!
Here's Stoinis. Shiva reminds me "RCB once lost when 42 was required of 2 against CSK. Kohli gave 28 runs to Albie and Vinay Kumar gave 15"
suresh: "As a RCB Fan, I dont know what to type, I am starting to convince myself, its ok russel can win every match "
Abdul M Ebrahim: "Chahal will feel as Broad again conceding about 30 in his last over. Stoinis will go for at least 20 and this over of Stym will concede 11. KKR winners ☺️"
length, and he goes inside out, and gets it over extra cover. One-bounce four
Vinod Rajpal: "There are now 2 Russell playing at the crease !!"
fuller, angles across him, and he plays outside the line of this in trying to whack it over midwicket
These two have put together 88 off 35 balls
moves across and hits a length ball over long on for six! Rana is striking the ball well now
length, and he has pushed this beyond Moeen Ali at short cover, and it is fielded by the sweeper cover fielder to his left. They amble through for two
Chintu: "Steyn bowling this over, so who remains to bowl the last couple of overs? Poor captaincy. Reminded of Albei Morkel thulping Virat for 4 sixes"
length, and he has hit this over long off. No more than a push off the front foot, on bent knee
Amit: "Every one is trying to ball dot ball instead of out Russel . This is not the cricket bolwer should learn . Defensive strategy can't give you win ."
length, towards off stump, and he drives this but cannot beat cover, inside the ring
Well said, because Steyn is on now
Ashraf: "If Kohli holds steyn for the final over, KKR will again win with 5 balls to spare"
RCB were 168 for 3 at this stage
length, outside off, and he has sliced this towards mid off. There's a direct hit at Russell's end as they go for the single, and he just about makes it
Even if they concede a six here, 56 off three is surely too many?