Bengaluru: Virat Kohli’s fourth century of the season saw Royal Challengers Bangalore obliterate Kings XI Punjab by 82 runs in an IPL match delayed by rain on Wednesday night at the Chinnaswamy. Kings XI Punjab never looked to be in the game, losing wickets at regular intervals, with Yuzi Chahal picking up four wickets.
After rains stopped play for a second consecutive night in the IPL, a lot of eyebrows were raised and heads hung, in what was the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s last game at the Chinnaswamy. Heavy rain turned to drizzles and finally the rain stopped for the game reduced to 15 overs-a-side. Murali Vijay was swift to say, “we will bowl first” after winning the toss, especially with light showers predicted anytime later on. KXIP had Maxwell, Stoinis and Anureet out for Behardein, Abbott and Cariappa, while RCB called back Varun Aaron for Iqbal Abdulla.
Gayle storm first, Kohli storm later
Kings XI for their credit started the innings brightly with three tight overs where Bangalore scored only 17 runs, but then the flood-gates opened. Gayle looked in the touch, he has built a reputation for, and smacked Kyle Abbott all over the park. Virat Kohli wasn’t to be left behind. He too joined in the act with some amazingly flat sixes, and showed every shot there is in the cricket book. Gayle however chose to stand and deliver, and the duo added 147 runs for the opening partnership in just 11 overs, before the West Indian got out for 73.
Virat Kohli is a beast of another kind
Virat Kohli has gone from being a brilliant batsman to a freak of nature. Only two days back did the Indian Test captain suffer a split in his left hand, requiring stitches, and here he was playing the most audacious of shots with ease. For a change his favourite batting partner AB de Villiers did not click, but that didn’t stop Kohli, who went on to score his 4th century of the season and became the first batsman to cross the 4000-run mark in the IPL. He was dismissed with an over to go, otherwise who knows, he might even have eyed a 150.
RCB bowlers deliver
Not a thing one would hear very often this season, but the Royal Challengers bowlers did their jobs perfectly. Shane Watson and Yuzi Chahal were the pick of the lot. Aravind provided the early inroads into the KXIP batting, before Watson removed the dangerous looking Axar Patel and David Miller. Then Yuzi Chahal broke the spine of the Punjab batting with 4 wickets, taking his team home to an emphatic win.
Brief Scores: RCB 211/3 in 15 overs (Kohli 113(50), Gayle 73(32), Sandeep Sharma 1/29) beat KXIP 120/9 in 14 overs (Saha 24(10), Chahal 4/25, Watson 2/7).