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IPL 2024: Bowlers, Kohli and Karthik help RCB overpower PBKS by four wickets
IPL 2024: Bowlers, Kohli and Karthik help RCB overpower PBKS by four wickets

Bengaluru, March 26 : Talismanic batter Virat Kohli produced a vintage batting performance through a magnificent 77 while Dinesh Karthik blitzed an unbeaten 10-ball 28 to guide Royal Challengers Bengaluru to their first win of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 after beating Punjab Kings by four wickets at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday.

After the bowlers, led by brilliant spells from Mohammed Siraj (2/26), Yash Dayal (1/23) and Glenn Maxwell (2/29) kept Punjab Kings to 176/6, Kohli entertained the capacity crowd with a stunning 49-ball 77, laced with two sixes and 11 fours. He was fortunate to dish out another masterclass in chasing in T20s, after being dropped by Jonny Bairstow for nought at the start of the chase. But when Harshal Patel took him out in the 16th over, RCB looked in a spot of bother.

They needed 47 runs off 22 balls, with PBKS powered in their defence by spells of 2-13 from Harpreet Brar and Kagiso Rabada’s double strike in Power-play. But Karthik walked in and smashed an unbeaten 28 off 10 balls, laced with three fours and two sixes, to script yet another finishing act for RCB. The veteran wicketkeeper-batter shared an unbroken 48-run standoff 18 balls with Mahipal Lomror (17 not out) to help RCB get over the line with four balls to spare and maintain the trend of hosts winning matches so far in the competition.

Chasing 177, Kohli began by edging without any footwork against Curran and Bairstow couldn’t catch the ball to concede a boundary. He would go on to drive Curran through covers twice and clip past short fine leg to take 16 runs off the opening over. Even as Kohli got the RCB innings off to a flier with three authoritative boundaries off Arshdeep Singh, wickets fell from the other end as captain Faf du Plessis mistimed the loft off Kagiso Rabada to mid-on and Cameron Green nicked behind off the fast bowler.

PBKS effected a slowdown via Curran, and Harshal Patel varying their pace and variations while Harpreet Brar bowled mostly in the length area and maintained a stump-to-stump line. But it didn’t have much effect on Kohli as he smoked Rahul Chahar over extra cover for six, before reaching his fifty in 31 balls.

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