Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli was delighted after his team qualified for the playoff stages of the ongoing IPL 2021.
RCB won their eighth match of the season as they defeated Punjab Kings by six runs at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday. RCB was able to post a par score of 164 runs after Kohli won the toss and decided to bat first.
RCB has been consistent in the ongoing season and they have qualified for the playoffs with two matches to go in the league stage. Glenn Maxwell scored a fine knock of 57 runs off just 33 balls as he continued his good form. On the other hand, Yuzvendra Chahal was the chief destroyer of the PBKS innings as he scalped three wickets and conceded only 29 runs in his four overs.
Earlier in the innings, Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal provided a decent start to RCB as they added 68 runs for the opening alliance and gave a good platform to their team. Maxwell launched his attack after getting settled and smashed three fours and four sixes in his knock.
RCB has come up with a collective effort after losing their opening two matches of the second phase. Kohli added that they will aim to finish in the top two of the points table so that they can get two chances in the playoffs.
Kohli heaped praise for the collective effort of his team and gave credit to his players for bringing their best to the table.
Virat Kohli said in the post-match presentation, “It feels amazing (qualification). I don’t think after 2011, we haven’t done it with games to spare, but it’s a great position to be in. Eight wins out of 12 games is a great campaign for the team. Now we have two more opportunities to finish in the top two and that gives us added motivation to play even more fearlessly. The first huddle for any team is qualification. We still have areas to improve so that we work on those areas and get into the top 2. It wasn’t an easy wicket. When you don’t have any wickets on the scoreboard, you can take more risks. Which myself and Paddikal have to. 15-20 runs on this ground can be crucial, we have to plug in those areas. There’s a qualifier and eliminator to be played here”.
Kohli continued, “As a side, we have had an endeavor to improve, in losses as well as wins. We knew the wicket would get slower and slower, it’s not going to be easy to hit. KL and Mayank batted really well, but we knew we were just two wickets from coming back into the game.
Our bowlers came back brilliantly and held their composure brilliantly. Look, the resurgence of Siraj ever since he has succeeded in Test cricket, his body language has been different, that’s what I keep telling guys. You can bowl in any format. Harshal’s inclusion has been outstanding. Yuzi has bowled well and Shahbaz has been great. Garton has come in and made an immediate impact. An IPL campaign is as good as the team plays the way they do. If the players don’t step up, the campaign can move away quickly. This year the guys have taken ownership and responsibility”.
RCB will look to continue the good show in the remaining two matches of the league stage and take their momentum into the playoff stages. The Virat Kohli-led team will next face Sunrisers Hyderabad at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.