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The high-stakes clash between Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) was set ablaze with controversy on Sunday when star batsman Virat Kohli was given out in a decision that sent shockwaves through Eden Gardens. As RCB pursued KKR’s daunting total of 222, tensions reached a boiling point over the ruling that ignited an animated argument between Kohli and the umpires.

Where is sprite and pepsi of cricket virat kohli?

This was clearly fair delivery but you and your fans are crying about no ball. pic.twitter.com/TxZcHTnkWJ — VIVEK.RO45 (@UniquePullShot) April 21, 2024

From the last match to today, poor umpiring continues. Disappointed Virat Kohli at the dugout _ pic.twitter.com/QRF86uJ1r1 — Pari (@BluntIndianGal) April 21, 2024

Not a good decision and Virat Kohli and Faf were super angry with it pic.twitter.com/noRojCappG — Pari (@BluntIndianGal) April 21, 2024

Virat Kohli absolutely furious with the umpires. pic.twitter.com/2KuSnxYnNv — Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) April 21, 2024

Angry mode of Virat Kohli _ Third umpire__ Third class umpire __#RCBvsKKR #KKRvRCBpic.twitter.com/77zfzoA67w — Wellu (@Wellutwt) April 21, 2024

The Flashpoint

It was the third over of RCB’s innings when Harshit Rana delivered a full toss that Kohli failed to connect with, giving a simple return catch. The on-field umpire opted for a review to check the legality of the delivery’s height. To the astonishment of Kohli and RCB supporters, third umpire Michael Gough adjudicated the ball legal, upholding the dismissal despite seeming dangerously close to a waist-high no-ball.

Kohli’s Animated Protest

The former RCB skipper was visibly infuriated by the decision, vehemently protesting the call as he made his way off the field. In a heated confrontation, Kohli engaged in an intense argument with the umpires, slamming his bat in frustration before departing for 18 runs off just 7 balls.

Polarizing Perspectives

The incident polarized opinions, with commentators and experts weighing in on the divisive ruling. Veteran voice Harsha Bhogle emphatically stated, “RCB have been robbed here,” reflecting the sentiment that the decision went against the batting side.

However, the dismissal was deemed legitimate according to the laws of the game. The ICC Playing Conditions state that deliveries passing above waist height without pitching are unfair, regardless of the risk of injury. However, in Kohli’s case, the ball tracking projected that it would have dipped below his waist had he been in his typical stance within the crease, rather than being planted outside it as he was.

Kohli’s Fiery Performance

Despite the unsavory dismissal, Kohli had already made his mark on the contest, striking two sixes in his brief yet explosive innings. His blistering start perfectly embodied the ferocious determination that has made him one of the most celebrated cricketers of the modern era.

The Aftermath

As the match resumed amid the simmering tension, all eyes remained fixated on the unfolding drama. The incident exemplified the intense passion and high stakes that make the IPL a spectacle like no other. While the umpire’s decision may have been technically sound, the controversy underlined the fine lines that can separate elation from heartbreak in the game’s biggest moments.

Whether you agree or disagree with the ruling, one thing is certain: Virat Kohli’s animated reaction has added another chapter to the rich narrative of the IPL 2024, solidifying his status as a true warrior of the game who wears his heart on his sleeve.