April 12, 2020 3:29:06 pm
On April 12, 2012, Virat Kohli’s confidence in his bowling took a serious hit when former South African all-rounder Albie Morkel hit him for 28 runs in a single over and helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) pull off a run chase to remember.
Chasing a huge total of 206, CSK were struggling to keep up with the required run-rate despite Faf du Plessis holding on to one end. When Muttiah Muralitharan sent du Plessis for a scored of 71 in the 15th over, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Daniel Vettori would have believed that it was all over.
With 75 runs needed off the last five overs, the pressure started to mount on CSK batsmen as they lost their skipper, MS Dhoni, in the 18th over. Albie joined Dwayne Bravo in the middle as CSK fans hoped for a miracle. The hosts needed 43 runs from 12 deliveries.
Vettori handed the ball to Kohli instead of Raju Bhatkal who had gone for 35 runs in the two overs he had bowled. At that time, it looked like a decent move as Kohli had gone for eight runs in his first over. The Kiwi did not go for off-spinner Chris Gayle as he felt that medium pacer was right for the job.
First ball, Kohli came round the wicket to the left-handed batsman and pitched it fuller. The ball took an inside edge of the bat and went for a boundary, just the kind of luck he needed to get started. Kohli went in full again but missed his mark and ended up pitching it in Albie’s zone as he hit it down the ground for a six. Next ball, he dragged the length back but luck favoured the batsman as it took an edge and went for a boundary past the short third man fielder.
With 14 runs scored off the first three balls, the frustration was visible on the part-time bowler’s face. After that delivery, Kohli made a few changes, he pushed the wicketkeeper AB de Villiers back, came over the wicket. But Albie stayed still in his crease and hit a marginally short delivery over deep mid-wicket for a maximum.
Next ball, Kohli bowled a full toss. Albie could not get underneath it and hit it towards deep mid-wicket along the ground and picked up a couple of runs. Kohli rolled his arm again and tried to bowl a yorker. As expected under circumstances he missed the mark and Albie hit it a long way back into the stands for a maximum making it a 28-run over.
The Proteas all-rounder got out in the next over but the 28-run penultimate over followed by a poor over from fast bowler Vinay helped CSK win the match off the last delivery.
Kohli had bowled in several IPL matches before this with a total of four wickets to his name but he had not taken a beating of this kind. He did not bowl for the following two IPL seasons. Since April 12, 2012, the current RCB skipper has bowled just 17 balls and given 23 runs in seven IPL seasons.
However, the 31-year-old has a terrific IPL record with the bat scoring 5,412 runs from 177 matches including five centuries and 36 half-centuries, the most by any batsman in the league’s history.
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