Veteran RCB batter Virat Kohli on Saturday (April 30) gave a glimpse of his return to form as he slammed his first half-century in 14 IPL matches.
However, Kohli’s knock of 53-ball 58 couldn’t secure a victory for his side against the Gujarat Titans (GT), who chased down the target of 171 with six wickets in hand and three balls to spare.
After the game, RCB skipper Faf du Plessis said Kohli’s fifty was a “huge step in the right direction” after a prolonged slump in form.
“It was a huge step in the right direction to get a solid 50. You want one of your top 4 to get the 70s in the future, so it’s good,” he said at the post-match presentation.
“We tried to get 175-180. They bowled well in the middle and kept us down. We started well with the ball but they played under pressure really well as they are in the tournament.
“… the bowlers being taken down by good batting took it their way. There was big side on one side, and there was one over (4th last) where most balls went to the legside,” Du Plessis said.
During the chase, the Titans were struggling at 95 for four in the 13th over but the duo of Rahul Tewatia (43* off 25 balls) and David Miller (39* off 24 balls) once again came to the rescue and took their team over the line.
With 16 points, which has been the magic mark, the Titans are heading towards a top-two finish in the league stage.
“Another game with Tewatia was great, it’s important to have such performances to get to the playoffs,” said Miller at the presentation ceremony.
“Playing a lot of golf helped, but being relaxed with Ashish Nehra and Gary Kirsten in the coaches list helped.”
When asked about GT skipper Hardik Pandya, the South African said, “He’s taken to captaincy well, his batting is good. He’s level-headed off the field and has managed the atmosphere excellently. Role clarity is essential, we are feeding off each other.
“Hope we put a well-rounded performance soon to go one step better from now, where we are doing well in parts. We have been good in the powerplay. It was pretty hot, so we will have a few ice-baths and cold beers.”
(With PTI inputs)