IPL 2023: Kohli, Vyshak, Siraj star in RCB’s 23-win over Delhi Capitals

Bengaluru, April 15 (IANS) Virat Kohli’s fine half-century (50 off 34), followed by impressive performances by pacers Vijaykumar Vyshak (3-20) and Mohammed Siraj 2-23) led Royal Challengers Bangalore to an important 23-run win over Delhi Capitals in the 20th match of the IPL 2023 at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, here on Saturday.
It was the fifth consecutive loss for the David Warner-led Delhi Capitals and they are yet to open their account in the ongoing season, lying at the bottom of the table. On the other hand, it was the second win for RCB in four matches and they are in the seventh spot in the table.
After winning the toss and opting to bowl first, Delhi Capitals made a remarkable comeback to keep RCB to 174/6 in 20 overs despite Kohli’s fifty. Apart from Kohli, none of the RCB batters could score big as the team kept losing wickets at crucial junctures against a disciplined Delhi bowling attack.
Chasing a challenging total, Delhi Capitals (DC) got off to a dreadful start as they lost four wickets — Prithvi Shaw (0), Mitchell Marsh (0), Yash Dhull (1) and David Warner (19) inside the powerplay.
Shaw was the first one to go as Anuj Rawat nailed a superb direct hit to run him out at the non-striker’s end. Mitchell Marsh, who came to bat next, played three dots and then got a leading edge against Wayne Parnell as Virat had a comfortable catch.
Yash Dhull too couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity as he was trapped in front of the wicket by Siraj. Wickets were falling from the other end but Warner showed intent and hit Siraj for three fours in the same over.
The RCB skipper then introduced debutant Vijaykumar Vyshak into the attack and he got the big wicket of Warner (19) in his very first over, leaving Delhi in deep trouble at 30-4 after 5.4 overs. Left-handed wicket-keeper batter Abishek Porel also miscued his shot on a full toss as Delhi lost half of their side for 53.
Despite wickets falling at the other end, Manish Pandey was playing his shots. He eventually got some good support from Axar (21 off 14) and they kept Delhi’s hope in the run chase. The pair added 27 runs for the sixth wicket before Vyshak outfoxed Axar with a knuckleball.
With the required rate increasing rapidly, Pandey hit Hasaranga for 4, 6, 4, 2 to get to a 37-ball fifty but he couldn’t continue longer as the Sri Lankan spinner got rid of the spinner on the last delivery of the over.
From there on it was an uphill task for Delhi Capitals. The likes of Anrich Nortje (23 not out off 14) and Aman Khan (18 off 10) hit few boundaries but it was not enough as Delhi were restricted to 151-9 in 20 overs.
Earlier, put in to bat first, openers Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis gave RCB a decent start, adding 42 runs for the opening wicket. Kohli looked in fine touch right from the start and hit back-to-back boundaries against Anrich Nortje as 11 runs came from the first over. With the pacer getting smashed, skipper David Warner brought in Axar Patel in the second over and he kept things tidy for the Capitals.
After Virat, it was Du Plessis’ turn to hit a few boundaries and he did it against Mustafizur Rahman. Left-handed Axar came for his second over and Du Plessis dispatched the fifth ball for an 86m six over the long-on fence, taking RCB to 33/0 after 4 overs.
With the main bowlers not making much impact, Warner introduced Mitchell Marsh into the attack. Marsh, who is playing his first match after joining the DC camp following his marriage, was welcomed with a boundary by Kohli and then Du Plessis hits the pacer for a four.
However, Marsh had the last laugh as he removed Faf for 22 off 16 balls on a length ball on the off stump, courtesy of a sensational catch by Aman Khan at short mid-wicket. The Australian all-rounder could have two in two but Manish Pandey dropped new-man Mahipal Lomror’s catch at point. Lalit Yadav came to bowl the final Power-play over and gave just four singles as RCB were 47/1 after 6 overs.
Though Kohli was able to find occasional boundaries, Delhi kept things under control as spinners Lalit and Kuldeep Yadav didn’t allow Lomror to bat freely. While Lomror was struggling to find his timing, Kohli was dropped by Kuldeep on his own bowling.
Despite spinners doing well, Warner went back to Mustafizur and Kohli smashed him for a boundary six to bring his 50 in just 33 balls. However, the former RCB skipper couldn’t continue longer as Lalit got rid of him with a full toss.
Glenn Maxwell came to bat next and started from where he left in the last game, dispatching Lalit Yadav for two huge sixes. However, Nortje bowled a decent next over to pull things back and Marsh dismissed Lomror (26 off 18) to give Delhi an important breakthrough.
Harshal Patel was sent ahead of Dinesh Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed and the all-rounder hit Axar for a boundary but the spinner dismissed him in the same over. Kuldeep, who came to bowl the next over removed Maxwell (24 off 14) and Karthik (0 off 1) in consecutive balls to break RCB’s back, leaving them 132/6 after 14.2 overs.
RCB, who needed some crucial runs lower down the order, brought Anuj Rawat as a substitute, replacing him with Lomror but he couldn’t deliver as expected. The left-hander played a slow knock (15 off 22 balls). It was Shahbaz Ahmed, who played a vital knock (20 and 12) in the end and took RCB to 174-6 in 20 overs, which turned out to be a winning total in the end.
Brief scores:
Royal Challengers Bangalore 174/6 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 50, Mahipal Lomror 26; Mitchell Marsh 2-18) beat Delhi Capitals (Manish Pandey 50, Anrich Nortje 23; Vijaykumar Vyshak 3-20; Mohammed Siraj 2-23) by 23 runs.

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