After Chennai Super Kings became the first team to book their berth in the final, the fight for the other spot in the finale began on Monday with RCB and KKR locking horns in the eliminator. With the losing side set to be knocked out of the tournament, it was a pressure match and Virat Kohli decided to bat first after winning the toss.
Despite not being in great form, the RCB opening duo of Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli showed some positive intent and got their side off to a steady start in the powerplay. The left-right combination seemed to be working well for them in Sharjah as KKR bowlers deviated from their line and length and the two batsmen capitalized on the few loose deliveries.
It was eventually Lockie Ferguson who dismissed Padikkal just before the end of powerplay as RCB managed to post 53/1 in 6 overs with the match poised very evenly after the first phase of the knockout clash. However, the post-powerplay phase of the contest produced one very exciting incident which left everyone on the field slightly baffled for a moment.
Varun Chakravarthy weaves his magic in Sharjah
The KKR mystery spinner has been a nightmare for batsmen this season as many players have failed to pick his deliveries on numerous occasions. Something very similar happened on the 3rd delivery of 8th over when Varun Chakravarthy bowled a googly to KS Bharat, who had tried to use his feet and play a slog shot. However, the start for RCB in the previous contest was absolutely deceived by Varun as he missed the ball completely.
But unfortunately for KKR and Varun, even wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik failed to pick the mystery as the stumping opportunity went begging and RCB sneaked in an extra run off bye. It is often said that wicketkeepers are the best readers of spin bowling and as it happened, Varun bamboozled the glovemen of both the sides on the same delivery, re-establishing his authority as one of the best mystery spinners in the country.
Watch the video here:
Notably, KS Bharat finally ran out of luck as he was eventually dismissed by Sunil Narine after playing a sluggish 16-ball 9-run knock.