Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2017, Kolkata April 23, 2017

Knight Riders defend small total in style, RCB 49 all out

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Kolkata Knight Riders 131 (Narine 34, Chahal 3-16, Negi 2-15, Mills 2-31) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 49 (De Grandhomme 3-4, Woakes 3-6, Coulter-Nile 3-21) by 82 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Highlights - RCB bundled out for lowest score in IPL

One hundred and thirty-two runs. That's all Royal Challengers Bangalore needed. A little over 13 runs per wicket, only 6.6 runs an over, with Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in their side. Against quality pace bowling led by the astute Gautam Gambhir, the most glittering batting line-up in Twenty20 cricket sensationally collapsed to 49 all out, the lowest score in the IPL and the 10th-lowest in all Twenty20 cricket. Not one man reached double figures. This was only the 10th time in the IPL that a total of 131 or under was defended successfully.

At the halfway mark, Kolkata Knight Riders felt they were about 50 short of the par score, especially after the start Sunil Narine had given them: a 17-ball 34 in the fastest team fifty this IPL. They had collapsed from 65 for 1 to be bowled out only for the third time when batting first in IPL. That fall couldn't hold a candle to Royal Challengers, though, who batted with their edges, starting with a golden duck for captain Kohli.

Nathan Coulter-Nile began the slide with the wickets of Kohli, AB de Villiers and Kedar Jadhav in his first three overs, and then Chris Woakes and Colin de Grandhomme feasted on the carcass, taking three wickets each. With Umesh Yadav taking the other wicket, this was the fifth time all 10 wickets had fallen to pace in the IPL.

Trini Posse

At the toss, Kohli said he expected the pitch to be a little tacky, and thus helpful to seam, after rain last night and a delayed start because of more rain. However, he opened with his trusted legspinner Samuel Badree, who has for long been one of the best T20 new-ball bowlers. Fellow Trinidadian, Narine, played him like a man who knows him inside out. Immediately he played him like a slow seam bowler angling the ball away from him as opposed to bringing it back in. 4, 4, 6, 4 in the first over, and Knight Riders had their most productive first over since 2013. Narine continuing punishing S Aravind, who had a decent Powerplay economy rate of 7.32, in the third over.

Mills, Binny strike

The Narine onslaught forced Kohli to bowl half of Tymal Mills' quota in the first four overs. It also meant Kohli had to hold back his two other big bowlers, legspinners Badree and Yuzvendra Chahal. Mills responded, though, hitting Gambhir's thumb on the way to Jadhav in the fourth over. A slower short ball from Stuart Binny in the sixth over accounted for Narine, who pulled and found deep square leg.

Legspinners come back

In the last match at Eden Gardens, Knight Riders posted 187, and lost with 10 balls to spare. They must have been under extra pressure now to get a total that was Gayle-Kohli-de-Villiers-proof, which is perhaps why they kept going after the legspinners. Badree and especially Chahal loved it. Robin Uthappa fell playing Badree across the line, Yusuf Pathan was stumped down the leg side off Chahal, de Grandhomme skipped out and edged Chahal to slip, and Manish Pandey flicked a Chahal full toss to midwicket. The real show, though, was yet to begin.

Pace like fire

Going into the chase, Royal Challengers might have thought of getting a big net run rate bonus here. Small ground, quick outfield, a paltry total to chase, with explosive batsmen in the shed, this was fertile ground for a quick finish and big momentum.

Gambhir, on the other hand, walked out like a desperate nothing-to-lose Tony Montana from Scarface. He had his helmet on, and he asked Royal Challengers to say hello to his little friend: raw pace and upright seam. A pumped-up Coulter-Nile began with a massive no-ball, but he hit Gayle on the shoulder on the free hit. And when Kohli faced first up, Gambhir had a second slip in place, which is where the edge to the outswinger went.

At the other end, Umesh was cut straight to point by Mandeep Singh, who had moved ahead of de Villiers in the order. The strategy for de Villiers this season has been to give him no room, doing which Knight Riders conceded two early boundaries, but a sharp bouncer from Coulter-Nile drew the fatal top-edge on the hook from well outside off.

Towards the end of the fourth over, Gambhir was seen gesturing towards fine leg. He wanted one more from Coulter-Nile, who came back and accounted for Jadhav with the first ball of his third over. Gambhir also knew that Gayle was not enjoying the pace, and he kept peppering him with the pace of Umesh.

Gambhir then overlooked Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav, who many might have thought were the key now, with the score 39 for 4 after six overs and with Gayle on 7 off 15. He went to Woakes, who was not going to pitch anything in Gayle's half, even if it meant bowling a wide. That wide out of the way, perhaps Gayle felt there would be no more short balls in the over, but Woakes still bounced him, handcuffing his attempt at a big shot, and having him caught at wide mid-off. The rest was just a procession.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on April 25, 2017, 18:57 GMT

    DOOSRA-SHERU ON APRIL 25, 2017, 13:47 GMT

    There are many bosses in RCB... Kohli, Gayle, ABD etc. Which specific boss are you referring to?

    If by some chance you are referring to God almighty, he was busy applauding the KKR pacers

  • doosra-sheru on April 25, 2017, 13:47 GMT

    WHOA........ So where was the boss of the universe in this drubbing? Sleeping?

  • Cricinfouser on April 25, 2017, 4:06 GMT

    The only sad KKR team member in that game would be Trent Boult. Oh, how he would have loved to bowl along with Umeash, Coulter-Nile and Woakes. Pace carnage!!!

  • mahendra1 on April 25, 2017, 3:53 GMT

    What a nice little article written by Monga, It gives please as watching the match. Hats-off Mr Monga.

  • S.m. Tofazzel Hossain on April 24, 2017, 23:40 GMT

    A rare day in T20 cricket. Congratulations to KKR team.

  • SammySoSo on April 24, 2017, 16:33 GMT

    RCB has the strongest batting lineup in the planet. To see them implode like that goes to show that at the end of the day we are all human. Never has such a formidable lineup been bundled out for so little. Well done KKR. This will be in the record books for a very very long time.

  • shrastogi on April 24, 2017, 14:31 GMT

    From here it would be an uphill task for RCB to qualify. Not just single digit in scores even in balls only Gayle got to double figures. I think Gambhir's captaincy was spot on both in bowling options and in field placements but he was desperate to get wickets and RCB just played into his hands. I think though it was no batting fireworks the crowds thoroughly enjoyed KKR win which is a lesson for some other teams. There was something for bowlers but RCB batting was reckless and irresponsible. KKR currently certainly looks like a team who should qualify along with Mumbai. Sunrisers have relegated to third best from top and fourth slot is wide open. Even RCB!!!

  • kemukundarajanmukundarajan on April 24, 2017, 14:04 GMT

    Binny and Arvind will be warming the bench if they were in any other team. There is plenty of local talent avlbl and RCB let go Robin, Karun, & Mayank even though 9 IPL seasons hv passed. They should hv a batsman of the caliber of Badrinath to steady the ship when it hits a rock. Badri silently helped CSK sevaral times as a sheet anchor. A Pujara would hv been very helpful for RCB.

    The difference between Flemming and Vettori is quite evident.

  • Diesel_Loco_WDP4 on April 24, 2017, 13:59 GMT

    Bad bad batting from RCB, no doubt. But where it got embarrassing was when Kohli started blaming the sight screen for his failure to his pet aversion - the swinging ball outside off. Kohli might look majestic while he is aggressively putting bowlers away, but when there is a struggle, it is better to let the bat do the talking.

    For crying out loud, even Ponting was unusually silent in 2000-01 tour of India. He averaged a measly 3, but he preferred not to take his frustration on others. Not saying Ponting is an example, but surely Kohli can temper his aggression, and channel it in the right direction. Will help in the long run.

    One horrible match does not make Gayle or ABD horrible players, but now would be the time to look at some changes to the local 7 of the lineup.

    Kohli is too talented for him to lose form to silly reasons like over-aggression affecting his form. Talking Kohli please go away, and batting Kohli please come back.

  • serubhai on April 24, 2017, 13:35 GMT

    @ Sir_Ivor, Pls grow up and stop making inane comments. This is the same stadium but not the same pitch. Does a pitch remain the same over twenty years? That is downright ridiculous. I remember watching that WC game and both Jayasuria and Kalu were dismissed within the first ten overs. Then, Aravinda played a great knock. Stop making up conspiracy theories too, please!

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