Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) stand-in skipper Virat Kohli was looking in fabulous touch in the IPL 2023 match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday night. It needed a special effort of the field by KKR all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer to send Kohli back to the pavilion after scoring his 49th career fifty in the IPL.
Needing 201 to win at home, RCB captain Kohli was going great guns on 54 with six boundaries having taken 12 runs off Varun Chakravarthy’s over despite losing the wicket of Mahipal Lomror for 34 (18 balls). KKR skipper Nitish Rana called up Andre Russell to bowl the 13th over of the innings and off the very first ball of his over, Kohli pulled him towards deep mid-wicket where Venkatesh Iyer took a stunning diving catch.
Kohli’s wife and Bollywood star Anushka Sharma was watching the match from the Chinnaswamy Stadium stands and was left stunned like the rest of the Bengaluru crowd by Iyer’s brilliant diving effort. A video of Anushka Sharma’s reaction soon vent viral on social media.
Kohli had to walk back to the pavilion for 54 off 37 balls and with his dismissal ended all of RCB’s hopes of putting up a fight against KKR. RCB ended up at 179 for 8 in 20 overs, falling 21 runs short of the target.
Russell, who dismissed Kohli, ended up with figures of 2/29 while Chakravarthy was the ‘Player of the Match’ for claiming 3/27 with the ball. “We really needed that victory. We have been under the pump. We know once we get a good total – and anything above 200 was a good total – we can impart pressure. Once I get the ball, I try to do my best. I try to contribute in whatever way,” Russell said at the post-match presentation.
The West Indies all-rounder has struggled to fire with the bat this season, averaging just around 18 in IPL 2023. However, Russell wasn’t too bothered about that. “I am still confident with the bat. Got a very good yorker tonight from Siraj. Part of the game. We just got to take it day by day. Recovery is very important for me. The older I get the smarter I get with my body,” Russell added.