Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis heaped praise on teammate Dinesh Karthik, saying the wicket-keeper batsman is ‘as cool as MS Dhoni in the death overs’. The 36-year-old scored 14 off seven balls on Wednesday to take RCB over the line against his former team Kolkata Knight Riders

RCB defeated KKR by three wickets at the DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai

Chasing 129 runs, Dinesh Karthik came on to bat when Bangalore were reeling at 101/5 after 16 overs. They needed 28 runs to win in 24 balls. 

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The former KKR skipper saw two wickets fall at the other end but held on to his. He hit one boundary and a six to during his stay at the crease. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore needed seven runs to win in the last over. They had three wickets remaining. Karthik pulled the first ball, a short one, over deep cover for six. He then hit a fuller delivery down the ground for a boundary. 

The likes of David Willey (18 off 28), Sherfane Rutherford (28 off 40) and Shahbaz Ahmed (27 off 20) were sent before Karthik. Skipper Du Plessis explained that the 36-year-old was held back for the death overs. 

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The former South Africa skipper, who shared the dressing room with MS Dhoni during his days at the Chennai Super Kings, compared Karthik to his former teammate. 

“DK’s experience helped in the end, cool-calm, runs weren’t never really too far away. He’s probably as cool as MS Dhoni can get in the last five overs,” Faf du Plessis said in the post-match presentation.

With not much to defend, KKR pacers Umesh Yadav and Tim Southee caused early damage to RCB. The 2016 runner-up were reduced to 17/3. Willey, Harshal Patel, Shahbaz Ahmed and Rutherford batted patiently to take their team over the line. 

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“Very happy. Good win, obviously chasing small scores, you want to be positive and not leave it late, but it was good bowling from their seamers,” Faf du Plessis further said. 

The skipper added that the pitch was different from the one they played on in the first game. RCB opened their season with a defeat against the Punjab Kings. They had scored 205 runs in the first innings. 

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“Two-three days ago, it was 200 v 200. Tonight it was 120 v 120, pretty good. In an ideal world, we would’ve liked to have won more convincingly but a win is a win,” Du Plessis added. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore will face the Rajasthan Royals in their next game on April 5.