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Starting their VIVO IPL Campaign in their stunning new jersey, Virat Kohli led – Royal Challengers Bangalore lost the toss and were put in to bat by Sunrisers Hyderabad and the home crowd at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium witnessed a runs galore later.


Virat Kohli (Runs: 75, Balls: 51, Fours: 7 & Sixes: 3 At The Strike Rate Of 147.06) And AB de Villiers (Runs: 82, Balls: 42, Fours: 7, Sixes: 6 At The Strike Rate Of 195.24) Contributed 157 Runs Together For The 2nd Wicket Partnership.

BENGALURU: Sunrisers Hyderabad proved their decision of winning the toss and putting in Royal Challengers Bangalore by dismissing Chris Gayle cheaply at the early stage of the game but it seemed as if Skipper Virat Kohli had some other plans at the end.

Rubbing off the disappointment of missing out on Gayle Storm, the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium greeted their 360° Superstar – AB de Villiers and he paid them back by building a whooping 157 runs stand along with Virat Kohli.

There was no dull moment for Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers as the scoreboard was ticking at a decent rate. AB de Villiers scored a brilliant 82, which was followed by Virat Kohli‘s responsible knock of 75 runs.

Just when Sunrisers Hyderabad wished for a moment of peace after somehow getting the wickets of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli respectively, the pocket-sized dynamite – Sarfaraz Khan and experienced Watto tore their bowling attack by scoring a quick-fire 19 runs off 8 balls 35 runs off 10 balls respectively, which sailed Royal Challengers Bangalore to set a mammoth target of 228 runs.

Chasing a never-chased-before target was always a tough ask for Sunrisers Hyderabad and nobody seemed to be in the game for chasing it except their Captain – David Warner, who scored a lightening fast half-century but failed to stay till the end, which resulted in Royal Challengers Bangalore‘s 45 runs win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.


“We lost the toss. Didn’t get to do what we wanted, see how the wicket played out. But it was a good effort to get close to 230. Bowlers did a very good job after they got off to a good start. Watson has that experience in the middle, and Warner‘s wicket helped. Rasool is a deceptive bowler, we saw in the nets that he was troubling the batters. His trajectory of the ball is such that he can fox the batsman with change of pace. Parvez was the standout bowler for me today. Chahal as well did a good job, he went for a few today but as long as he keeps getting me 2-3 wickets in the middle, it’s fine. AB was fantastic and we’ve had a big partnership in Bombay [last season] as well. He took the pressure off me and started hitting the ball like only he can. Pleasure playing with him.”


“Absolutely love playing here. The crowd always gets behind us. Pleasure batting with Virat and enjoyed myself. We love running between the wickets. I love batting at 3 and gives me time to read the game. I have been scratchy in the last few weeks, even in the nets I felt horrible. It comes down to what you do in the middle. The bowlers have played together for quite a few years. One or two guys, a guy like Shane Watson coming in and Milne, who has been injured for the last 2 years. All of a sudden it looks like a very good combination of youth and experience. Some very good signs for this season. Kolkata came back from 5 losses in a row, but it’s never happened again. So it’s important to start well. Hopefully we’ll take this into the next few games.”

Royal Challengers Bangalore are always known for starting off the tournament of high, but hope so this time, they will be able to keep up the moment throughout and erase that ‘chokers’ tag forced on them as the VIVO IPL progresses!

The second clash of VIVO Indian Premier League witnessed a low-scoring scenario as Kolkata Knight Riders put in Delhi Daredevils to bat first after winning the toss and later, wrapped them up at a handful score of just 98 runs with Andre Russell and Brad Hogg leading the pace and spin department from the front respectively.


Andre Russell (Overs: 3, Maidens: 0, Runs: 24, Wickets: 3 At The Economy Rate Of 8.00)

KOLKATA: Breaching Kolkata Knight Riders at their fortress – Eden Gardens is one of the toughest thing to do and last night was no different when Captain Gautam Gambhir won the toss and decided to put in Delhi Daredevils to bat first, knowing the conditions thoroughly and later what everyone witnessed was a disaster.

The start of Delhi Daredevils‘ innings was not as bad as it’s climax. Quinton de Kock started off well as he is known for but things never really seemed to be in DD‘s favor once they lost his wicket.

Kolkata Knight Riders‘ bowlers made sure that no batsman would be able to settle in and become a problem for them later. Even, Delhi Daredevils‘ batsmen were lacking that content to go there and score big for the team which helped to the cause for Skipper Gautam Gambhir and his knights.

Eden Gardens witnessed a perfect combo of pace and spin as Andre Russell and Brad Hogg ended up picking 3 wickets each. Credits to their supreme bowling which made sure that Delhi Daredevils don’t even manage to enter the three digits at Eden Gardens.

Chasing 99 was not at all a big task for Kolkata Knight Riders, looking at the way Knights walked in. The confidence on their faces and batting approach was visible. Gautam Gambhir and Robin Utthappa‘s 69-runs opening stand made things easier for Manish Pandey, who came in and finished off the things in style alongside Skipper Gambhir even before the end of 15th over.

Andre Russell was awarded as Man of the Match for his fiery seam bowling which earned him wonderful figures of 3-0-24-3 at an economy rate of 8.00!


“We just have to adjust to any surface. That is where professionalism comes into play. It wasn’t the fastest of wickets, it wasn’t slow either. If I get a chance to bat, I’d go out there and do something destructive. When things are going your way, you need to find ways to stay up there. I thought the wicket wouldn’t spin that much, but credit to Brad Hogg and Piyush Chawla for backing me up. Also, Captain and Uthappa played brilliantly as well.”

Skipper Gautam Gambhir looked delighted to kick-off his VIVO IPL campaign with a win and was in all praises for his spearhead – Andre Russell. “Russell got to Kolkata this morning and the way he started with the ball was commendable. He is a quality player for sure!”, he said.

Andre Russell has always been a worthy player to watch out for me. He has got some really good all-round skills which adds value to his side. It will be exciting to watch how he evolves with bat and bowl both as the tournament progresses!

The carnival of India‘s domestic season started with the much-awaited Maharashtrian derby between the defending Champions – Mumbai Indians and debutants – Rising Pune Supergiants on April 9th,  at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.


Ajinkya Rahane (Runs: 66, Balls: 42, Fours: 7, Sixes: 3 At The Strike Rate Of 157.14)

MUMBAI: MS Dhoni led Rising Pune Supergiants made a sweet start to their IPL journey with their seamers restricting Mumbai Indians to mere 121 runs on their quota of 20 overs at their own fortress in which Harbhajan Singh being the top scorer with unbeaten 45 runs off just 30 balls.

Though the target looked quite easy-peasy considering Rising Pune Supergiants‘ efficient batting lineup, it was important for the top order to play responsibly in order to avoid disappointment in their maiden match.

Rising Pune Supergiants opened with the best openers of International standards namely Ajinkya Rahane and Faf du Plessis. Generally, Ajinkya Rahane is known for his calm and composed approach towards chasing targets for his team but to my surprise, he was in to win it from the start (to make up for his lagged knock in WT20 Semi-Final maybe!)

Ajinkya Rahane was a part of 78-opening stand with Faf du Plessis and made sure to stay in the middle till end for his team (Just the way he likes to do). He scored a clinical 66* from 42 balls which included 7 attractive fours and 3 glorious sixes at the whooping strike rate of 157.14!


“I felt it was important to time the ball, When we were bowling, the ball was stopping and seaming a bit. It was important to take my time and finish the game. Track was two-paced, different to Wankhede wicket. It was holding and for the first six overs, it was doing a lot. Its been very good, couple of practice sessions. All world class players. All are match-winners, KP, Smith, Dhoni and we are trying to learn many things from them.”

Even Captain MS Dhoni was impressed with Ajinkya Rahane‘s  brilliant performance and praised him in the post-match presentation. “Always felt Rahane is brilliant where the ball comes on off the wickets. He is traditional and the way he finished it off was very good.” he said.

Ajinkya Rahane has always been impressive in Indian Premier League, this is like his forte in which no one can break him and this is what makes him a player to watch out as the tournament progresses. After all, this is just the start!