That’s all from us at ESPNcricinfo. Thank you for joining us. See you tomorrow for Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings.
Stat alert: This was Chahal’s fourth Player of the Match award in the IPL. Do you know what collects all those awards? All for matches in the UAE!
Welcome to the post-match presentation.
First up, we’ll have the winning captain Virat Kohli: “We have come back strongly in two games back-to-back with the ball. Which is a great sign. We know if you can hold your nerve with the ball you’re going in the right direction. In both games the opponents were 56/0 in the powerplay, but in both games we took wickets to ensure the opposition does not get away. We knew that with the kind of bowling attack we have, things can open up when we take wickets. As batters you can’t take too many risks when you’re searching for two points too, so we went to look for mistakes from their batters. Lewis hit a few sixes and it was courageous from Garton and the others. We’ve got the rewards because we’ve been fearless and confident in the moments that the game can go either way. Couple of important things are clicking: middle-overs bowling is one. If you take wickets you can change the game. And batting also, we’ve got a few good opening starts. Devdutt and I have focused on giving the team good starts so that the middle-order with AB, Bharat and Maxwell can make more. Boys have stepped up, so that’s been key for us. The break was tough as you saw initially. We were blown away in game 1. That defeat gave us confidence though. The second game we were not quite there either, left 25-30 out there with the bat. But last two games we are going in the right direction. Slowly but surely we are getting in groove.”
Now for the Player of the Match. It is Yuzvendra Chahal for his 2/18: ” (On starting spell late) Two left-handers were batting, so Virat said lets go with the medium pacer. He told me I will come when Lewis gets out, but I came on since Lewis was still going good. (Bowling style) I wanted them to play over covers since its wider there. Wanted to also blow slower. In the first half of IPL, I didn’t bowl well in 3-4 games. Then I spoke to players and family on what I’m doing wrong. And then I regained confidence in Sri Lanka. Confidence is key in bowling, so I am using that here.”
9.30pm That was as comprehensive as a run chase can get. And it takes RCB into a fantastic position from which they can dream of a top-two finish. They’re still two points adrift of the top-two – CSK and DC. The game was set up by their bowlers, who bounced back to restrict Royals to 150 from 91 for 1 at the halfway mark. Terrific contributions from Chahal, Harshal and Shahbaz. And then with the bat, Maxwell and Bharat played the chase perfectly after Kohli set it up.
The Royals now can only get to 14 points at best. While they aren’t ruled out yet, they aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot even if they win the remaining games. The stars have to align wildly to keep them in the hunt.
Glenn Maxwell: We played really well, they got off to a flier but to bring it back in the last 10 was outstanding. I felt good from the moment I’ve come here, got into a nice routine at training, it’s clicking for me nicely as well. I suppose, don’t think RCB is different to any other franchise. Nice to be able to have a bunch of guys doing different things, instead of aligning with just one particular player. KS Bharat is a genuine top-class batter, won’t call him batting at No. 3 as an experiment. It’s working beautifully for us at the moment.
Sanju Samson: We got a great start, couldn’t capitalise. Middle order needs some confidence. We went in with intent, the wicket was two-paced and our batters kept mistiming it. To be honest, it’s been a hard one week for us, we need to put in a fight as a franchise. Happy with the effort and intent with the bowling. We don’t have anything to lose. That kind of mindset brings a lot of freedom, have seen some funny things happen. Need to keep on believing and fighting till the last match.