Virat Kohli and Royal Challengers Bangalore fans finally had something to smile about as the red army beat Mumbai Indians by 14 runs at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru on Tuesday. Defending a par score of 167 on a tricky surface, the bowling finally came good for RCB. Led by Tim Southee, who delivered a masterclass in the final over, the bowlers stuck to their plans and conceded just 20 runs in the last three overs to help the Royal challengers secure two vital points and move to the fifth spot on the table. Acknowledging the role of his bowlers, skipper Virat Kohli expressed happiness over the fact that he could secure the victory in front of wife Anushka Sharma, who turned 30 on Tuesday.
“My wife (Anushka Sharma) is here, it’s her birthday & it’s a little birthday gift to her. I’m glad she could enjoy the win watching from here & it’s very special to achieve 2 points in front of her,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
Commenting on the importance of the victory, Kohli said, “Jeez, we needed that win. Such an important stage of the tournament. We all believe in the changing room that this was the push we needed. Important two points. Just told the bowlers, to back their gut. Take ownership of your field, your plans, and own it. Siraj, Colin, Southee were excellent. Umesh, Chahal everyone bowled well. The one over that JP Duminy bowled and Manan targeted (for 22 runs) took the game away from them. We needed impact performances and that’s what happened.”
Meanwhile, expressing dismay over the performance of his side, MI skipper Rohit Sharma said, “It is disappointing to be on the losing side. We got ourselves to blame though. Didn’t play smart cricket which was required, losing wickets in the powerplay didn’t help, that’s where we lost the game. We wanted to keep ticking with the scoreboard, partnerships would have helped us. Credit to RCB, they bowled really well, it was a tough wicket and they kept us guessing all the time and it made things very difficult for us.”