RCB not in race for IPL-10 play-offs, says Kohli

Indo Asian News Service

Pune, April 29 (IANS) Conceding that the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are virtually out of the race for the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) play-offs, courtesy another pathetic batting display, skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday said the team can only learn from such experiences.

RCB's hopes of making it to the top four were dashed after they lost by 61 runs to Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here.

The 2017 edition of the IPL has been a disappointing one for the Bengaluru franchise, losing seven of their 10 outings so far.

"I think it's for everyone to see we lost that game. It's hard for a captain to stand here and speak after a performance like this," Kohli said after his side was restricted to 96/9 in their response to Pune's 157/3.

"But got to learn and move on from these kind of experiences. We lost the game rather than them winning it. We are pretty much not in the race for the Play-offs, all we can do is enjoy the four remaining games."

The 28-year-old Kohli said there could be multiple reasons for the batting debacle, especially after the same side reached the final of the tournament last year.

"It could be a few reasons, expectations, people looking at us as a good batting side that made the Playoffs last year. I can't really pinpoint something -- could be hesitation to get out, to get runs," he said.

Meanwhile, home skipper Steve Smith hailed his team for putting up a comprehensive effort against the Bengaluru franchise.

"It's nice to have a got a nice little streak going. We didn't know what would be a good score at the halfway mark, to be honest, but we wanted a complete performance today and we got that," Smith said.

"We executed our plans really well tonight, Lockie Ferguson bowled beautifully. They're being very consistent for us, hopefully, then can continue it and win us a few more games. It's a magnificent effort from Lockie, hit good lengths and bowled good bouncers as well. He is an exciting player for the future," he added.

Playing his second IPL game, New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his excellent figures of two wickets for seven runs off his four overs.

The Kiwi credited the start from the Pune bowlers for his brilliant show, which is only the fourth time in the IPL when a bowler has conceded seven or less in an innings.

"I think we were probably 15-20 short today, but we started really well, which made my job easier. I could create some pressure," Ferguson said.

"The boys were incredible, and obviously, feels pretty good to do well personally well too. My strength lies in back of a length, I try to bowl a few cutters as well. But credit to the other guys as well for building up the pressure, I couldn't have done it without that," he added.

--IANS

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