The Royal Challengers Bangalore posted the lowest total in IPL history as the Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed them by 82 runs.
New season, same Royal Challengers Bangalore. They posted 213-2 on Tuesday. Five days later, they crumble to the lowest total the tournament has seen. Despite having one of the strongest sides on paper, their chances of winning their first-ever title has taken a serious blow, and they now sit joint-bottom in the standings at the halfway stage of the tournament.
Not even the return of AB de Villiers from his back strain could help the cause. He scored eight, while Virat Kohli departed for his third career golden duck. Not a single player reached double figures as the bowlers tucked in. KKR now have five victories to their name, two points behind the Mumbai Indians.
KKR’s total wasn’t particularly glamorous either. RCB would have thought they were in with a chance at Eden Gardens after the hosts scraped together 131. Makeshift opener Sunil Narine enjoyed a productive stint with the bat and he high-scored in the game, with 34 off 17 balls. Manish Pandey’s 15 and Chris Woakes’ 18 down the order were the only other meaningful contributions, with spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (3-16) and Pawan Negi (2-15) taking five wickets between them.
KKR’s vast array of international bowling options yielded the results, as Australian Nathan Coulter-Nile accounted for Kohli with the first ball of the second over, which set the tone. Woakes has had a bit of an indifferent IPL campaign, but the Englishman stepped up in clinical fashion, seeing off 10 000-run man Chris Gayle for seven, before New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme (3-4) joined him to clean up the tail.
The last six wickets fell for only nine runs as Woakes finished with figures of 3-6, as Kedar Jadhav top-scored with nine. The 49 scored by RCB replaces the previous lowest total, that of the Rajasthan Royals’ 58 in Cape Town back in 2009, ironically against RCB. They have it all to do now to stand a chance of qualifying for the playoffs.