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Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) IPL 2021 campaign came to an end on Monday after a disappointing loss to Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator at Sharjah. RCB captain Virat Kohli,who had announced before the start of the UAE leg of the league that this will be his last season as leader of the franchise, took to Twitter on Tuesday and posted an emotional message for his and RCB fans.

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“Not the result we wanted but I am so proud of the character shown by the boys throughout the tournament. A disappointing end but we can hold our heads high. Thank you to all the fans, management & the support staff for your constant support,” Kohli posted on Twitter.

Kohli, who had been leading RCB from the middle of the 2012 season, was looking to win the tournament for the first time as a player and captain. He came within touching distance in 2016, when he re-wrote the record books by scoring 973 runs in the tournament and single-handedly took his team to the final. But it was not to be as his team lost to SunRisers Hyderabad then.

On Monday, RCB posted a below par total of 138 runs after Kohli decided to bat first on winning the toss. Kohli gave his team a good start along with Devdutt Padikkal as the openers put on 49 runs for the first wicket, but a devastating spell of spin bowling from Sunil Narine broke the back of RCB’s batting. Narine picked up the crucial wickets of Kohli, AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell to bring RCB to its knees.

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KKR were cruising in their chase but Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal picked up a few wickets to change the dynamics and brought RCB back in the encounter. Narine returned to throw a spanner on the good work done by Harshal and Chahal as he hit Dan Christian for three massive sixes in one over to turn the game around again. RCB never recovered from that blow and eventually lost the match by 4 wickets.

Kohli said after the match that he had given his best for his franchise as a captain and player, and would continue to play for the same franchise till his retirement.

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