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IPL Season 9: Kohli, De Villiers do it again as RCB brush aside KKR to stay alive

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The Royal Challengers Bangalore continued to make a late dash for the play-off berths, following up their impressive thrashing of the Gujarat Lions at the weekend with an equally exciting 9 wicket rout of the Kolkata Knight Riders in front of a capacity crowd at Eden Gardens.

The Royal Challengers won the toss and invited their hosts the Kolkata Knight Riders to have a bat. KKR produced a stop start innings, recovering from losing Robin Uthappa for just 2 to add 76 for the second wicket as Gautam Gambhi (51) and Manish Pandey (50) hit matching half-centuries. Both batsmen scored their runs freely, Gambhir taking 34 balls, while Pandey batted a ball longer.

Then there was a mini-collapse as Pandey, Yusuf Pathan (6) and Suryakumar Yadav (5) fell in quick succession as KKR lost 3 wickets for 12 runs.

Andre Russell (39* off 19 balls) and Shakib Al Hasan (18* off 11 balls) took charge of proceedings late in the innings to make sure KKR posted a good score, and 183-4 on paper looked an extremely competitive total if not a match-winning one.

It proved to be insufficient though as the Royal Challengers' top 3 all hit form with Chris Gayle in particular giving his side a flying start, smashing 49 off 31 balls before he was trapped leg before by Sunil Narine.

Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers then took over, with the former smashing an unbeaten 79 off 51 balls to guide his team to victory, while the latter produced another excellent innings, scoring 59* off 31 balls as the Royal Challengers cruised to victory with 8 balls to spare.

The Kohli - De Villiers partnership was worth 115 and while nowhere near as high as they managed against Gujarat, it was just as important as RCB moved to 12 points from as many games, racing up to 5th in the Indian Premier League standings, ahead of the Delhi Daredevils, who have played a game less and take on the Rising Pune Supergiants tomorrow.

KKR meanwhile stay second, level on points with the Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Lions, ahead of both teams on net run rate, with 2 games to play.


Kolkata Knight Riders: Robin Uthappa (wk), Gautam Gambhir (c), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine, Ankit Rajpoot, Morne Morkel

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, KL Rahul (wk), Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Chris Jordan, S Aravind, Iqbal Abdulla, Yuzvendra Chahal

Mini Scorecard:

Kolkata Knight Riders 183-5 (20 overs, 9.15rpo)

G Gambhir 51 (34) S Aravind 2-41 (4)

M Pandey 50 (35) I Abdulla 1-22 (4)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 186-1 (18.4 overs, 9.96rpo)

V Kohli 75* (51) S Narine 1-34 (4)

AB de Villiers 59* (31)

Royal Challengers Bangalore win by 9 wickets