Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis on Saturday said Virat Kohli scoring his first half-century in 14 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches was a “huge step in the right direction”. Kohli’s fifty notwithstanding, RCB suffered a six-wicket defeat at the hands of table toppers Gujarat Titans in Mumbai. Asked about Kohli getting to his season’s first half-century after a prolonged slump in form, du Plessis said, “It was a huge step in the right direction to get a solid 50. You want one of your top 4 to get the 70s in the future, so it’s good.” Gujarat Titans extended their dominance at the top of the table with the win over RCB in the Indian Premier League and closed in on a play-off spot in their inception year.
RCB set GT a target of 171.
“We tried to get 175-180. They bowled well in the middle and kept us down. We started well with the ball but they played under pressure really well as they are in the tournament.
“… the bowlers being taken down by good batting took it their way. There was big side on one side, and there was one over (4th last) where most balls went to the legside,” du Plessis said.
Rahul Tewatia (43 not out) and David Miller (39 not out) did the job for GT after the table toppers were struggling at 95 for four in the 13th over.
With 16 points, which has been the magic mark, the Titans are on course towards a top-two finish at the end of league stage.
“Another game with Tewatia was great, it’s important to have such performances to get to the playoffs,” said Miller at the presentation ceremony.
“Playing a lot of golf helped, but being relaxed with Ashish Nehra and Gary Kirsten in the coaches list helped.” When asked about GT skipper Hardik Pandya, the South African said, “He’s taken to captaincy well, his batting is good. He’s level-headed off the field and has managed the atmosphere excellently. Role clarity is essential, we are feeding off each other.
“Hope we put a well-rounded performance soon to go one step better from now, where we are doing well in parts. We have been good in the powerplay. It was pretty hot, so we will have a few ice-baths and cold beers.”
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