Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir fined following RCB's win over Lucknow Super Giants in IPL

Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and Lucknow mentor had to be separated by players following heated exchange

Royal Challengers Bangalore's Virat Kohli (R) gestures during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on May 1, 2023.  (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN  /  AFP)
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Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir have both been fined 100 per cent of their match fees after their heated exchange following Royal Challengers Bangalore's 18-run win in the Indian Premier League on Monday.

Royal Challengers Bangalore read a slow pitch perfectly and successfully defended 126 runs against Lucknow Super Giants at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow but the match was overshadowed by an ugly spat between RCB captain Kohli and Lucknow players and officials.

Kohli clashed with Lucknow players Amit Mishra and Naveen-ul-Haq before confronting former India teammate Gambhir after the match.

The IPL said Gambhir and Kohli had admitted to a Level 2 offence under Article 2.21 of the IPL Code of Conduct.

Kohli and Afghan bowler Naveen were seen having sharp words on the field during a tense match.

Kohli, who has often run into trouble with his aggressive approach, had to be restrained by opposition batsman Amit Mishra during the match.

Later, Kohli seemed to be trying to pacify Gambhir with his hand on his former India teammate's shoulder, but the conversation soon took an ugly turn. Kohli and Gambhir were seen exchanging words and had to be separated by the two sets of players.

Naveen was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct. The left-arm seamer admitted to the Level 1 offence.

Kohli took to social media on Tuesday with a cryptic Instagram post quoting a famed Roman emperor and philosopher: "Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. - Marcus Aurelius."

It is not the first time Kohli and Gambhir have clashed in the IPL. In 2013, the pair had a heated exchange while Gambhir was captain of Kolkata Knight Riders.

Gambhir, 41, has become an MP for India's Hindu-nationalist ruling BJP party since retiring from cricket in 2018.

This was Kohli's second offence this season after he was fined 10 per cent of his match fee for his conduct during Bangalore's loss to Chennai Super Kings last month.

Bangalore’s 126-9 looked under par at the halfway mark, but Lucknow’s counter-charge didn’t work on a tricky home track and the hosts were bowled out for 108 in the final over.

Lucknow suffered a blow when captain Lokesh Rahul went off the field in pain in only the second over of the game while clutching his right thigh. Rahul didn't appear again until the fall of his team's ninth wicket. He faced three balls but couldn’t get off the mark before Bangalore wrapped up a convincing win.

“We would have taken 126 at the start of the game, but we just could not execute our plans,” Lucknow stand-in captain Krunal Pandya said.

Defeat cost Lucknow from joining Gujarat Titans at the top of the IPL table. Instead, Bangalore moved into a tie with Lucknow and three other teams, just a win behind Gujarat.

Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis, who top-scored with 44, and Kohli, with 31, combined in a 62-run opening stand.

Then Kohli was stumped off legspinner Ravi Bishnoi and Du Plessis holed out trying to force the pace after a half-hour rain delay.

Bishnoi and Amit Mishra, who both took 2-21, strangled Bangalore in the middle overs and Afghanistan fast bowler Naveen with 3-30 got two wickets off successive deliveries in the final over.

Lucknow were expected to accomplish a comfortable chase at home.

But opening batsman Mayers couldn’t gauge the slowness of the pitch and holed out to mid-on off Mohammed Siraj’s second ball.

Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, with 2-15, also made an early impact in his first game of the season, and the spinners took over.

Legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga had Deepak Hooda stumped and Karn Sharma got rid of dangerman Nicholas Pooran for 9 as Lucknow slumped to 5-38 in seven overs.

More brilliance in the field by Bangalore fashioned two run outs and a remarkable win.

Updated: May 02, 2023, 7:34 AM