Will May 18 see another Kohli day out?

Virat Kohli and RCB Fans
Virat Kohli and RCB Fans (PC: RCB/X)

On May 18, 2024, Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) will take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in the heart of Bengaluru. Rain could yet play spoilsport for fans and players in the 68th match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). However, there is a unique connection between rain and RCB’s matches in Bengaluru on May 18 over the years.

In 2013, against CSK, RCB played an eight-overs-a-side game, while in 2016, against Punjab Kings, they played a 15-overs-a-side match. Not only have RCB won all four of their matches on this date, but Virat Kohli, their talismanic batter, has managed some outrageous knocks with the bat. This is one reason why RCB fans are eager to see the match happening today. A playoff spot is at stake for both teams and it could be a last chance for fans to witness Kohli vs Dhoni in IPL.

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Here are the performances of Kohli and RCB on May 18 in the IPL

56*(29) vs CSK, 2013, Chinnaswamy – RCB Won

That day also, rain played spoilsport and the match got delayed. Finally, after two and a half hours, both captains came out for the toss and Dhoni, then CSK skipper, elected to bowl first. It was an eight-over game and RCB scored 106 runs for two wickets. Kohli led from the front as an opener and smashed 56* off 29 balls. In CSK’s reply, Zaheer Khan took a four-for in his two-over spell and helped RCB to win the game by 24 runs. Kohli won the Player of the Match award. 

27(29) vs CSK, 2014, Ranchi – RCB Won

After winning the toss, CSK batted first and scored 138 runs for four wickets in 20 overs. Suresh Raina remained not out on 62 off 48 balls. In reply, Chris Gayle scored 46 off 50 balls while Kohli took 29 balls to score 27. Batters struggled for fluency, but AB de Villiers made 28 at a strike-rate of 200 as RCB won the game with five wickets and one ball to spare.

Virat Kohli for RCB in IPL 2024
Virat Kohli for RCB in IPL 2024 (Image: IPL)

113(50) vs PBKS, 2016, Chinnaswamy – RCB Won

Again, because of rain, the match got delayed and turned out to be a 15-over contest between RCB and Punjab Kings (PBKS). After being asked to bat first, Kohli hammed Punjab with a 113-run knock off 50 balls. Gayle also smashed 73 off 32 balls as their opening partnership of 147 runs came in just 11 overs. They finished with 211 for three wickets in 15 overs, and in reply, PBKS scored only 120-9. Due to more rain, the PBKS innings was reduced to 14 overs and their target was 203, but Yuzvendra Chahal starred with four wickets. Kohli was adjusted the Player of the Match for his electrifying knock. 

100(63) vs SRH, 2023, Hyderabad – RCB Won

Faf du Plessis won the toss and asked SRH to bat first. They scored 186-5 in 20 overs, with Heinrich Klaasen smashing 104 off 51 balls. Then, in the chase, Kohli lit up the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium with a century. He scored 100 off 63 balls while du Plessis scored 71 off 47. Their opening stand was 172 runs from 17.5 overs and that helped RCB to win the game with eight wickets to spare. Kohli won the Player of the Match award.

With that kind of past record, RCB fans and players will look to continue their streak today and hope that things fall into place as they have tended to on May 18 in the past. Meanwhile, Kohli is currently the highest run-scorer with 661 runs in 13 inns, at an average of 66.10 and a strike rate of 155.16. He has smashed 5 fifties and a century along with 56 fours and 33 sixes. However, a point from a washout will be enough for CSK to progress. But RCB need to chase down a 150+ total in 18.1 overs or defeat CSK by a minimum margin of 18 runs to overhaul them in the points table.

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