The fate of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) got hanged by a threat after getting thrashed by Punjab Kings on Friday. The 54-run loss has put their playoff qualification in jeopardy as Faf du Plessis & Co are left with just one game in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 and they need to be extremely lucky to edge past at least 6 teams who are also dreaming of the knockouts.
While Punjab remain in the mix with 12 points from as many games, the margin of victory considerably improved their net run-rate to +0.210 and RCB, despite having 14 points from 13 games, are at a -0.323. They will have to win their final game and move to 16 points but also now need to have some rub of the green with a few favourable results going their way.
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Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone propelled Punjab Kings to 209 for 9 in a must-win game and the scoreboard was always going to be telling as RCB were restricted to 155 for 9 in 20 overs.
It was another day and another failure for Virat Kohli (20), who got a faint under-edge tickle on his gloves before it hit his thigh pad and bobbed up to a short fine leg off a Kagiso Rabada (4-0-21-3) delivery. The former captain was extremely agitated after the dismissal as he was murmuring a few words in frustration while staring at the sky on his way back to the dugout.
During the post-match show, Du Plessis addressed the lean patch that Virat is going through.
“He (Kohli) is seeing the lighter side of it, every single way that you can possibly get out is happening to him. That’s how the game works. All you can do is to keep trying hard, work hard and stay positive. He played some good shots tonight, obviously would want him to carry on. Bad patches happen to all of us, he’s taken it on the right note,” Du Plessis said at the post-match show.
RCB will face Gujarat Titans on May 19 in their last league-stage encounter. They cannot afford to lose that game but facing an already-qualified side won’t be easy either.
“Not a great outing for us tonight. We will take a day off and then see how we can switch on for a game that’s a must-win for us. One more net session isn’t going to make you a better player, it’s about making yourselves stronger in the mind. If we play to our potential, we are a very strong side. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that tonight,” Du Plessis concluded.
(WIth Agency Inputs)
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