Cricket Article

Kohli Will Look to Put Punjab Game Behind

Kohli Will Look to Put Punjab Game Behind Photo: TT
Kohli Will Look to Put Mumbai Indians Game Behind

Virat Kohli may be the highest paid sportsman in India and is the top earner in this years IPL (Indian Premier League). His three-month stay with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will see him receive a salary of US $2.4 million.

However, even the worlds best can have a day at the office, or, in this case, evening, as the events of Thursday night in Dubai demonstrated.

It began when Kohli won the toss ahead of their IPL match with the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and duly invited his opposite number KL Rahul to bat first.

And the wisdom of that decision was soon called into question when Rahul himself, opening the innings, went on to make 132 not out off 69 balls, including 7 sixes and 14 fours. Not only was it the fourth highest individual score in the 13-year history of the competition, but it was the highest ever by an Indian batman.

Kohli gave Rahul a helping hand, though, twice by dropping him on two occasions first spilling a chance on the boundary when he had made 83, and then fumbling a chance at long-off six runs later.

Rahul steered his side to 206/3 from their 20 overs, and Kohlis evening immediately took a turn for the worse, as RCB lost their first three wickets for just four runs, with Kohli himself caught by Ravi Bishnoi off the bowling of Sheldon Cottrell for just a single.

Wickets continued to fall with depressing regularity, and RCB were bowled out at the end of the 17th over for 109, giving KXIP victory by 97 runs.

Nor were his woes over for the evening either, He was subsequently fined Rs 12 lakh (US $ 17,500) by the BCCI for maintaining a slow over rate during the KXIP innings, as the authorities tried to clamp down on the issue of match overruns.

The previous days game between the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders had finished well over the allotted time, and beyond prime time as regards TV viewers in India.

The IPL wants to finish all games before 11 pm IST because matches that finish after that watershed attract less viewers, which means reduced exposure for sponsors and advertisers.

Kohli will just want to erase this match from his memory.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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