WATCH : Kohli masterclass shutting down Punjab’s playoff hopes

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In a crucial match where the Royal Challengers Bengaluru found themselves on the back foot after losing the toss, they faced early setbacks with the dismissals of Faf du Plessis and Will Jacks to debutant Vidwath Kaverappa. Despite some fielding lapses, Rajat Patidar and Virat Kohli steadied the innings, forging a partnership of 66 runs.

Patidar showcased aggressive batting, reaching a brisk 55 off just 23 balls before falling to Curran in the tenth over. Following a rain delay, Kohli shifted gears after reaching his fifty, well-supported by Cameron Green.

Their partnership flourished, adding 34 runs in the next two overs before Kohli was dismissed by Arshdeep Singh, falling short of a century by eight runs. Despite Harshal Patel’s three-wicket burst in the final over, Green’s solid presence ensured RCB posted a formidable 241/7 in their allotted 20 overs.

In response, Punjab Kings faced an early setback with the departure of Prabhsimran in the opening over. However, Jonny Bairstow and Rilee Rossouw steadied the innings with a 65-run partnership for the second wicket before Bairstow’s dismissal by Lockie Ferguson ended the powerplay at 75 runs.

Rossouw continued to attack, reaching his fifty in the eighth over but was soon dismissed by Karn Sharma. Despite being well-placed at 107/3 after nine overs, Punjab Kings faced a collapse with Swapnil Singh and Karn striking in quick succession in the eleventh and twelfth overs.

The middle order crumbled further with the loss of Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma, leaving them at 164/7 by the 15th over. The lower order failed to provide resistance as Sam Curran, Harshal Patel, and Arshdeep Singh fell quickly, resulting in Punjab Kings being bowled out for 181, handing RCB a convincing victory.

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