It’s the end of a chapter in Indian Premier League as Virat Kohli’s reign as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore comes to a close without the celebrated cricketer winning an IPL title. RCB were knocked out of IPL 2021 after a 4-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator in Sharjah on Monday.
Virat Kohli, who took over as RCB’s full-time captain in 2013 from Daniel Vettori, had said midway during the season that he would give up captaincy after completing of IPL 2021. It was a disappointing end to one of the most-talked-about captaincy tenures in the IPL as Kohli finished with a trophy to show for despite having led the franchise for 8 seasons.
Monday’s defeat also meant RCB have exited the IPL for the second successive time in the Eliminator after showing flashes of brilliance throughout the season. RCB were knocked out by SRH after 5 successive losses in the IPL 2020 Eliminator in the UAE.
KKR do just enough with the bat as Narine shines
A familiar script followed as RCB imploded on the big night despite having headed to the IPL 2021 playoffs with a win under their belt. The 2016 finalists were bamboozled by the spin trio of Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and Shakib Al Hasan as they were restricted to 138/7 in their quota of 20 overs on a sluggish Sharjah pitch.
Kolkata Knight Riders held their nerves to gun down the target in a thrilling finish as RCB rode on Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal’s brilliance to take the match until the final over. KKR had a fine opening stand from Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill but wickets kept tumbling in the middle overs.
Sunil Narina, who could not put a foot wrong on Monday, smashed 3 sixes off Dan Christian in the 12th over to bring the asking rate under control but Mohammed Siraj bowled a terrific 18th over, removing both Narine and Dinesh Karthik.
With 7 runs needed in the final over, KKR held their nerves as all-rounder Shakib and captain Eoin Morgan took them past the finish line. KKR will face Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2 on Wednesday.
Sunil Narine dominates Big Three to jolt RCB
Earlier in the day, Virat Kohli won the toss in the Eliminator and opted to bat. However, the captain and Devdutt Padikkal gave RCB a fine start, taking on the KKR bowling attack without taking a lot of risks in the first 6 overs.
Lockie Ferguson got the wicket of Devdutt Padikkal, who has an indifferent season with the bat, in the final over of the powerplay following which RCB’s fortunes took a nose dive.
Sunil Narine came up with one of his best-ever spells on the big night as he removed Virat Kohli for 39 after the RCB captain got frustrated with his inability to get going after the fielding restrictions were lifted. Narine began RCB’s downside with the wicket of KS Bharat, who struggled to get going.
Narine dealt potentially decisive blows as he removed AB de Villiers for 11 and made sure there was no late flourish from Glenn Maxwell. Narine finished with figures of 4/21, going past Lasith Malinga on the list of bowlers with most four-wicket hauls in the IPL (8).
Lockie Ferguson did his job, picking up 2 wickets for 30 as RCB did not find any amount of momentum throughout their innings.