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Kohli, Karthik Power RCB Past Punjab

Virat Kohli’s milestone of a 100th T20 half-century was pivotal as RCB clinched their initial victory of the season with a four-wicket triumph over Punjab Kings at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Monday night. After restricting PBKS to 176/6, an early reprieve for Kohli before scoring laid the groundwork for RCB’s chase. Complementing Kohli’s efforts, Dinesh Karthik delivered crucial finishing strokes, ensuring RCB crossed the finish line with four deliveries to spare.

During the PowerPlay, RCB effectively contained Punjab’s run rate, even as Dhawan showcased some splendid aerial drives. The early phase saw Yash Dayal introducing swing with the new ball, while Siraj managed to dismiss Jonny Bairstow. Bairstow’s attempt at a pull, after hitting two fours, ended in a catch in the covers, marking a successful period for RCB with the scoreboard reading 40/1.

Glenn Maxwell faced a mixed reception upon entering the attack, conceding a boundary to Dhawan and a six to Prabhsimran, who was eventually dismissed by Maxwell for 25 due to the extra bounce. Despite being hit for more runs by Liam Livingstone, Maxwell’s dismissal of Dhawan marked a critical point. This effort was supported by Alzarri Joseph, who, after an expensive first over, returned to dismiss Livingstone for 17. The middle overs saw RCB limiting Punjab to 71 runs for three wickets.

Jitesh Sharma and Sam Curran built a half-century partnership highlighted by back-to-back sixes off Mayank Dagar. Despite this effort, Joseph and Siraj bowled tight death overs, maintaining pressure on Punjab. Shashank Singh’s quickfire 21 off eight balls, including two sixes and a four in the final over, propelled Punjab past 170.

Kohli, Karthik star as RCB overcome Punjab

Kohli capitalized on an early drop by Bairstow, steering RCB’s chase with assertive boundaries. His aggressive stance brought up his 50 in just 31 balls, maintaining momentum even as Punjab attempted to tighten their grip. However, Harshal Patel eventually dismissed Kohli, offering Punjab a glimmer of hope.

The partnership of Karthik and Lomror, initiated with boundaries off Curran, aligned with the asking rate. Targeting Arshdeep and Harshal, the pair moved RCB closer to victory. With 10 required from the final over, Karthik’s experience shone through, securing the win with a premeditated scoop for six followed by a decisive four.

Looking ahead, Bangalore will host KKR at home on Friday. Meanwhile, Punjab will journey to Lucknow for their next match, aiming to rebound from this setback.

Brief Scores : Punjab Kings 176/6 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 46; Mohd. Siraj 2-26, Glenn Maxwell 2-29) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 178/6 in 19.2 overs (Virat Kohli 77, Dinesh Karthik 28*; Harpreet Brar 2-13, Kagiso Rabada 2-23) by 4 wickets

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