Virat Kohli reached his sixth IPL century off 62 balls as Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in Hyderabad on Thursday.
This victory kept RCB in the hunt for a playoffs berth with 14 points from 13 games. They are tied on points with Mumbai Indians but ahead on net run-rate and a victory in their final match could see them through.
Kohli put on a 172-run opening stand with Faf du Plessis which put to shade Heinrich Klaasen’s century. Kohli was down on his knees to celebrate his hundred as he cleared deep mid wicket but was dismissed next ball, caught in the deep. Faf also departed in the next over for 71 but by then the RCB openers had sealed the victory.
Kohli was full of intent even after the Powerplay. He was going down the wicket at every opportunity, intentionally playing the ball in the air and not giving the bowlers any chance. Faf reached his fifty off 34 balls while Kohli took a ball more to reach his half-century.
It was Kohli’s seventh fifty in this IPL and came via a ferocious pull off Glenn Phillips. For Faf it was his eighth half-century in this edition and the third consecutive one. It only goes to show how much the team’s fortunes have depended on these two batters.
Kohli was brutal in the middle overs, and overtook Faf. There was a time when Faf was batting on 63, and Kohli 65, but in the time that Faf scored three runs, Kohli accumulated 26. Kohli’s innings included 12 boundaries and four sixes.
Earlier, Klaasen made 104 off 51 balls as Sunrisers reached 186 for five.
Klaasen was lethal on anything dropped short by the spinners and never allowed them to settle into a length. The South African reached his hundred off 49 balls with a straight six off Harshal Patel.
RCB did well to restrict Sunrisers below 200 with some disciplined bowling towards the end. While Mohammed Siraj gave away only four off the final over, Wayne Parnell’s 18th over produced only seven. This was after 21 runs had come off the 15th over by Karn Sharma.
Klaasen displayed his big-hitting prowess, smashing eight fours and six sixes during his scintillating knock.
The South African hammered three fours off Shahbaz Ahmed to power the Sunrisers to 49 for 2 in the Powerplay. He rocked back and pulled every time the ball was short as Michael Bracewell and Harshal was sent across the ropes, while Karn was dispatched for a 74-metre six.