Saturday night was another freak show which has become usual with Karthik around. Delhi Capitals were his latest prey as he went about pulling Royal Challengers Bangalore out of a hole at 92/5 in the 12th over and then clobbering the young bowling attack to all parts of the ground to score an unbeaten 66 off 34 balls. He put on an unbeaten sixth-wicket 97-run stand with Shahbaz Ahmed as RCB set Capitals a daunting 190-run target.
Back to winning ways. ??Important 2️⃣ points secured. ✅ We look ahead to our next challenge now! ??#PlayBold… https://t.co/HIixR07eBA
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) 1650132154000
Karthik’s innings provided enough cushion for RCB to absorb the David Warner and Rishabh Pant’s power hitting who fell for 38-ball 66 and 17-ball 34 respectively. Mitchell Marsh, playing his first game of the season, getting stuck at No. 3 for a 24-ball 14 after an opening stand of 50 off 28 balls contributed to Capitals falling short by 16 runs. Josh Hazlewood was the standout bowler of the night returning figures of 3/28.
Can never keep him out of the game. ?WHAT. A. CATCH. ?#PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #IPL2022 #Mission2022 #RCB … https://t.co/HWF2F04vUi
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) 1650132001000
Chants of ‘DK…DK’ reverberated around the Wankhede stadium, reminiscent of ‘AB…AB’ while AB de Villiers used to bat in India, and Karthik wasn’t going to disappoint the crowd. In a spell of awe-inspiring improvised batting, which was closest one could get to matching the genius of De Villiers, Karthik helped RCB plunder 74 in the last five overs as Shahbaz enjoyed the onslaught from the other remaining unbeaten on 34 off 21 balls. He displayed a whole array of shots in his innings, reminding the selectors he is still in shape to make it to the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
Karthik broke loose in the 18th over bowled by Mustafizur Rahman. It was as if he knew where Rahman would land the ball. If he was down on one knee way outside the off stump at one moment then he would be lining up to reverse sweep the other moment. And then when the bowler zeroed in on a plan of bowling full, he was effortlessly tonking them over their head.
Exceptional spell from an exceptional bowler. ?????#PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #IPL2022 #Mission2022 #RCB … https://t.co/n085tnQony
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) 1650131664000
For the first 15 overs of the match, Capitals were magical in the field, getting Faf du Plessis at the point boundary and running Virat Kohli out through a sensational piece of fielding by Lalit Yadav. Glenn Maxwell threatened to run away with the game hitting Kuldeep Yadav for 23 runs in the ninth over as he targeted the shorter side of the ground. Once Kuldeep came back and claimed his wicket for a belligerent 34-ball 55, Capitals would have believed they had got RCB on the mat.
As Capitals looked to be in control, the first real blemish happened. Karthik, struggling to get the scoreboard moving, got an inside edge off Kuldeep and captain Rishabh Pant shelled it. It was the DK show thereafter.