IPL-9: Scintillating centuries from Kohli, de Villiers help RCB beat Gujarat Lions by 144 runs

Virat Kohli Ab de VilliersBenguluru: Scintillating centuries from skipper Virat Kohli (109 off 55 balls) and AB de Villiers (129 off 52 balls) helped Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Gujarat Lions by mammoth 144 runs, biggest margin of win in IPL, at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli became the first batsman to have scored three centuries in one edition of the Indian Premier League. It is also the first time that two batsmen had scored a century in one innings in the IPL. The partnership (229) between de Villiers and Kohli was also the highest in Twenty20 matches. The previous highest was also by Kohli and de Villiers, which was 215 against Mumbai Indians in the 2015 edition of the IPL.

Speaking about the massive win, Kohli said, “I have all the right to smile today, everything went as per plans despite losing the toss. It can be pretty disheartening after losing 9 out of 11 tosses. It feels good that the guys are ready for it, our equation is pretty clear as it's like the playoffs from here. We don't want to push or pressurise ourselves too much. We know we are batting with intent and with good strike rates. It's important to not get ahead of ourselves. If you try extra, you might end up scoring 150 instead of 180. We don't think about the game too much, we just react instinctively, and play smart cricket.”

“I didn't want to speak about how well we had played and we gave the guys a realistic target of 170 to defend for the NRR. The guys have responded very well at the business and of the tournament. We want to take the responsibility and take the pressure. Everyday is a new opportunity for some youngster to perform and win the game for RCB, that's the most exciting thing going ahead,” said the RCB skipper.

AB de Villiers, who was Man-of-the-Match said, “A lot of things played a role today. I walked out there feeling scareless, no fear of losing my wicket. Virat and I made good decisions while batting and assessed things very well and we accelerated very well at the end. I hate facing dot balls in T20s and I'm disappointing with the ones today (nine against Jadeja). Jaddu bowled very well today. It's about playing the right shots at the right time.It wasn't just about the boundaries. (Laughs) I'm really angry for facing those dot balls today!”

Gujarat Lions captain Bendon McCullum said, “We had two world-class batters today and they played two of the greatest T20 innings in the history. It was pretty disappointing for us, but great to watch as a fan. We tried spin against AB but he took them on early on and got us back under pressure. We tried spin, tried to bowl short, tried to take the pace off but nothing worked. We'll try to dust this off and flush this down and come back stronger.”