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Watch: Kohli, Maxwell Shattered As Painful RCB Dressing Room Scenes Emerge

May 23, 2024
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Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) stars Virat Kohli, skipper Faf Du Plessis and wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik reflected on ups-and-downs, but an inspirational and memorable Indian Premier League (IPL) season following their loss to Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the eliminator on Wednesday. RCB’s dream run following a horrid first half and a winning streak of six games finally came to an end after a four-wicket loss to RR in the eliminator at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday.

The season was one to remember for RCB as they were on the brink of elimination after winning just one out of their first eight games, but won their next six games by great margins and knocked out defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in a virtual knockout clash to secure the final playoff spot on basis of net-run-rate. However, the 17-year-old long wait for the trophy continues after the loss to RR. Nonetheless, the team’s performance this season has won them a lot of acclaim from fans, experts and players alike.

In a video posted by RCB’s official X handle, Virat said that the first half of the season was an under-par performance from the franchise and they were not able to live up to their standards as cricketers. But he will cherish and remember the way his team bounced back from adversity.

“To be really honest, the first half of the season was a really under-par performance from us. The standards that we have as cricketers, we were not able to live up to them. Then we started expressing ourselves, played for our own self-respect. Our confidence came back. The way turned things around and qualified was truly special. It is something I will cherish and remember, because it took a lot of character and heart from the boys,” he said.

He also thanked the fans for supporting the team and turning up in huge numbers all over India.

Skipper Faf said that the last six games were special for the way RCB turned things around but in the eliminator, they fell short by around 15 runs.

“The first innings was tricky, the ball was moving around and it was a bit slow,” he said.

Reflecting on the fan’s support even though the team was down and out halfway through the season, Faf said, “We were down halfway through the season. But still the fans, every match, every stadium. We could hear the chants. Once we got that momentum, we ran with it. We are extremely grateful for it. Sad we cannot reach the finals. But from where we were and where we finished, I am really proud of the boys.”

Summarising the team’s season, Dinesh, who is likely playing his last-ever IPL season, said that the team felt that this could very well be the year when they lift the trophy because of the way they turned things around, but the “hard day” that loomed over their heads happened to be the eliminator. He also said that dew came in the second innings and it became easy to bat.

“With sports, there is no fairytale ending. There is always a hard day when things do not go your way. It was that day. As it is in the evening games, dew came and it became easy to bat on. But still, we should be proud of the fight we put up. That is all we can ask for. Attitude matters. The belief in wanting to do something special matters. On both counts, RCB had a really special season. A season where a lot of people will look at and say ‘Wow, good effort’. We are proud of ourselves and I also hope fans are also proud of us for what we have done this year,” said Dinesh.

Coming to the match, RR won the toss and elected to bowl first. Almost every RCB batter got a start, but they could not convert them into a big knock. Rajat Patidar (34 in 22 balls, with two fours and two sixes), Virat Kohli (33 in 24 balls, with three fours and a six) and Mahipal Lomror (32 in 17 balls, with two fours and two sixes) emerged as top-scorers, restricting RCB to 172/8 in their 20 overs.

Avesh Khan (3/44) was the top bowler for RR. Ravichandran Ashwin (2/19) and Trent Boult (1/16) also did a fine job in putting brakes on the RCB run rate.

In the run-chase, the Royals’ got off to a fine start, with Yashasvi Jaiswal (45 in 30 balls, with eight fours) and Tom Kohler Cadmore (20 in 15 balls, with four boundaries) putting on a 46-run stand. From then on, RCB bowlers applied some pressure on Rajasthan, restricting the run-flow and getting some wickets. RR was restricted to 112/4 in 13.1 overs. However, Riyan Parag (36 in 26 balls, with two fours and two sixes) held one end before he was dismissed while Shimron Hetmyer (26 in 14 balls, with three fours and a six) and Rovman Powell (16* in eight balls, with two fours and a six) attacked RCB in the last few overs to get a four-wicket win with an over left.

Mohammed Siraj (2/33) was the top bowler for RCB.

Ashwin took home the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

Now, RR will meet Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in qualifier two on May 24 in Chennai to decide who plays Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final on May 26.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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