IPL 2018, KXIP vs RCB: Umesh Yadav's fiery over is SK Turning Point of the match
Can RCB defy all odds to make it to the playoffs this season?
The Royal Challengers Bangalore secured two crucial points against the Kings XI Punjab with a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over them at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Monday (May 14).
With this result, points table is now wide open, with three teams at 12 points and two teams at ten points, going into the last six days of the league stage.
Everything went right for Virat Kohli and Co. from the very outset of the game. The RCB skipper won the toss and decided to bowl first on a ground where evidently, it has been very difficult to defend any total.
It became increasingly difficult for Punjab after they capitulated to a total of 88 all-out after just 15.1 overs in the first innings.
After that, it was all too easy for the Challengers, as they chased the target in just 8.1 overs and that too, without losing a single wicket.
The SK Turning Point of the match came in the fifth over of the game, when Kohli made a pivotal decision of handing Umesh Yadav a third over in the powerplay.
He had tormented both the KXIP openers in his first two attempts, rearing to go at them with his pace. The gutsy move from the RCB captain paid off, as his seamer scalped two wickets in the over, sending both KL Rahul and Chris Gayle back to the pavilion.
It was a crucial spell of seam bowling in the context of the game, as the hosts have been heavily reliant on their top two batsmen to get them to a respectable total throughout this season.
Both of them falling cheaply and that too, in the same over, proved to be too much to recover from for the KXIP unit. Everything went downhill for them after that, as their middle order fell like nine pins and crumbled under the pressure put forth by Kohli and his bowlers.
Talking about his team's impeccable all-around performance on the day as well as Yadav's contribution to the same, the RCB skipper said, "Kings XI thought that we would be intimidated by their openers on this small field but the way our bowlers started, they knew that they couldn't make any mistakes. Umesh was brilliant, taking those two big wickets in the same over. We kept picking wickets throughout and that was crucial."
With this victory, the Men in Red are still alive in the tournament and if certain permutations and combinations fall in place, they have a chance of making it to the playoffs this season.
Only Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings have a guaranteed spot in the top four at the moment.
Any two teams among Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, and Royal Challengers Bangalore can fill up the last two spots on the points table at the end of the league stage, making the last few days of the same all the more exciting.
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