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IPL 2024 Orange Cap race: Virat Kohli replaces Heinrich Klaasen to reach the top
Photo courtesy: X/@IPL

IPL 2024 Orange Cap race: Virat Kohli replaces Heinrich Klaasen to reach the top

| @indiablooms | 30 Mar 2024, 11:39 am

Bengaluru/IBNS: Indian cricket icon Virat Kohli has moved to the top post in the Orange Cap list of the ongoing edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) after Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)'s home match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) last night.

Kohli, who slammed an unbeaten 83 from 59 balls, replaced Sunrisers Hyderabad's Heinrich Klaasen on Friday.

Kohli has so far scored 183 runs in the tournament while Klaasen follows him with 143 runs under his belt.

Klaasen is followed by Rajasthan Royals' Riyan Parag with 127 runs.

In his 83-run innings, Kohli smashed 4 fours and 4 sixes to power his team to 182/6 in 20 overs.

However in the match result, RCB was thrashed by KKR, who scripted a convincing win by 7 wickets.

KKR clinch 7-wicket victory

Led by Venkatesh Iyer and Sunil Narine, KKR chased down a challenging target of 183 with ease, securing their second consecutive victory in the tournament.

Earlier in the match, KKR's bowlers, particularly Andre Russell and Harshit Rana, delivered excellent spells to restrict RCB to a total of 182/6. Despite a strong start by RCB's batting lineup, with Virat Kohli and Cameron Green firing on all cylinders, KKR managed to pull things back with timely wickets and disciplined bowling.

Chasing the target of 183, KKR got off to a flying start, thanks to the explosive batting display by Salt and Narine. Narine's onslaught, in particular, was relentless as he smashed five powerful sixes to dominate the RCB bowling attack. By the end of the Powerplay, KKR had raced to 85/0, laying a solid foundation for their successful chase.

In the seventh over of the innings, Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) captain Faf du Plessis decided to introduce spin into the attack for the first time. This tactical move paid off as Mayank Dager, the spinner brought into the attack, managed to dismiss the dangerous Sunil Narine, who was batting aggressively on 47 runs off just 22 deliveries.

Narine's wicket provided RCB with a crucial breakthrough, putting a dent in Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) formidable opening partnership.

In the subsequent over, RCB's Impact Player Vijaykumar Vyshak struck again by dismissing Phil Salt, who had been contributing effectively to KKR's run chase with a quickfire 30 runs off 20 balls. Vyshak's timely wicket further boosted RCB's morale as they sought to stem the flow of runs and put pressure on the KKR batting lineup.

However, RCB missed an opportunity to capitalize on their momentum when Dayal dropped Shreyas Iyer on 9 runs in the 10th over. Despite this reprieve, KKR reached a strong position at the halfway mark of their innings, with the scoreboard reading 112/2.

Venkatesh Iyer, undeterred by the fall of wickets at the other end, continued to attack the RCB bowling.

In the 11th over, he took on the pace of Alzarri Joseph, smashing a couple of sixes and fours to collect 20 runs off the over.

Iyer's aggressive batting approach showcased his confidence and ease at the crease as he reached his fifty milestone off just 29 balls, further solidifying KKR's position in the chase.

After Venkatesh Iyer's departure, having contributed a crucial half-century, Shreyas Iyer took charge alongside him to steer Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) towards victory.

The duo added 75 runs off just 45 balls, bringing the required runs down to 16 off 30 deliveries. While Venkatesh played a significant role with his aggressive batting, Shreyas ensured that KKR remained on course for the chase.

Venkatesh's departure after reaching his fifty provided a brief setback for KKR, but Shreyas, not allowing any slack, continued to dominate the RCB bowling attack.

With an unbeaten 39 off 24 deliveries, Shreyas displayed composure and skill as he guided KKR towards the target. In the end, he finished the match in style with a six, ensuring KKR chased down the target with plenty of balls to spare.

In the earlier stages of the match, Kolkata Knight Riders' captain opted to field after winning the toss. Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) made a brisk start to their innings, with captain Faf du Plessis leading from the front.

However, KKR pacer Harshit Rana made a strong comeback after conceding a six, dismissing du Plessis with a slower delivery. Despite du Plessis's attempt to innovate his shots, mistiming led to his downfall.

Following du Plessis's dismissal, Virat Kohli and Cameron Green unleashed a counter-attack, accumulating five fours and two sixes within the Powerplay overs, propelling RCB to a score of 61/1. This aggressive start laid the foundation for RCB's competitive total in the match.

During the course of the innings, the partnership between Virat Kohli and Cameron Green flourished, adding 65 runs off 42 deliveries. Just as their partnership was gaining momentum, Andre Russell delivered a crucial breakthrough for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by dismissing Green, who had scored 33 runs off 21 balls.

Despite being hit for a six in the previous ball, Russell's delivery found its mark, cleaning up Green and providing a much-needed breakthrough for KKR.

Following Green's dismissal, KKR tightened their grip on the game, conceding no boundaries in the subsequent overs.

However, Kohli and Glenn Maxwell shifted the momentum back in Royal Challengers Bengaluru's (RCB) favor with some aggressive strokeplay. Kohli reached his second consecutive fifty in the tournament, scoring it off 36 balls with a six and a single.

KKR had opportunities to break the partnership, notably in the 13th over when Ramandeep Singh dropped Maxwell at deep mid-wicket when he was on 11. Additionally, Narine dropped Maxwell again in the next over off the bowling of Harshit Rana.

However, Narine made amends for his drop by dismissing Maxwell for 28 runs off 19 balls in the very next over.

KKR continued to apply pressure on RCB's batting lineup, with Russell claiming another wicket by dismissing Rajat Patidar. RCB reached 148/4 at the end of the 17th over, with KKR's bowlers making crucial breakthroughs to restrict their opponents.

In the 18th over, KKR introduced Angkrish Raghuvanshi as their Impact Player, replacing Varun Chakaravarthy. Rana, returning to the attack, dismissed Anuj Rawat and conceded just five runs, further denting RCB's progress.

Despite losing wickets towards the end, Dinesh Karthik's quickfire 20 off 8 deliveries, along with Kohli's unbeaten 83 off 59 balls, propelled RCB to a competitive total of 182/6 at the end of their 20 overs. Kohli's innings, comprising four fours and as many sixes, was pivotal in RCB's innings, providing them with a fighting chance against KKR.

(With additional inputs from UNI)

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