Kohli boosts Bangalore
Virat Kohli (Gallo Images)
Bangalore - Virat Kohli struck a sparkling half-century as the Royal Challengers Bangalore crushed the Pune Warriors by 26 runs in their IPL match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Friday.
The elegant Kohli played some delightful shots, with his driving on the off side being particularly pleasing on the eye, as he stroked his way to 67 off 42 balls with four fours and four sixes as Bangalore posted a daunting 181 for five.
Pune, despite a fifty from Jesse Ryder, never really threatened the total as their innings petered out with the visitors only managing 155 for five.
During the course of his innings the 22-year-old Kohli, who reached his fifty off 36 deliveries, went past Mumbai Indians’ Sachin Tendulkar to become the leading run-scorer in IPL4 with 294 runs, ahead of Tendulkar’s 276 runs.
The right-handed Kohli finally fell in the penultimate over of the innings when he dragged a delivery from seamer Alfonso Thomas to a running Harpreet Singh at deep midwicket with the substitute fielder taking a good catch.
Kohli and AB de Villiers (26) had put on 66 runs for the third-wicket with De Villiers responsible for a massive blow when he struck a straight six off the bowling of medium-pacer Ryder that measured 103 metres.
De Villiers was dismissed when he holed out to long-on off the bowling of fellow South African Thomas.
Bangalore’s innings was given a rapid start thanks to a typical Chris Gayle blitz after Pune skipper Yuvraj Singh had won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Gayle bludgeoned his way to 49 off just 26 balls with his innings including four fours and four sixes.
The tall batsman scored four runs off the first seven deliveries that he faced but he exploded into action when he struck two sixes and two fours off an over from left-arm quick Kamran Khan.
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Gayle plundered 57 runs for the first wicket before Dilshan, who played second-fiddle to Gayle in scoring 15 off 19 balls, was bowled by leg-spinner Rahul Sharma in the seventh over.
Sharma continued to work his magic and he trapped Gayle leg-before with the batsman caught in the crease to leave Bangalore on 74 for two which provided the perfect platform for Kohli to express himself.
Thomas was the stand-out bowler with figures of two for 23 while Sharma, who had figures of 3-0-13-2 at one stage, finished with two for 27 off four overs.
However, Kamran had a match to forget as he conceded 47 runs off just three overs.
Ryder was the key batsman during Pune’s run-chase and the burly opener made his way to 51 off 34 balls before he pulled a delivery from left-arm spinner Syed Mohammad to deep midwicket to leave Pune on 79 for two, still needing 103 runs off 51 balls.
Manish Pandey made his way to a laboured 19 off 23 balls before slapping a Daniel Vettori delivery straight down long-on’s throat before Yuvraj launched an assault to raise the hopes of the visitors.
Yuvraj smashed his way to 41 off 23 balls, which included two fours and three sixes, before he spliced a short ball from left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan to midwicket to leave Pune on 131 for four in the 17th over.
Robin Uthappa made the match look closer than it actually was as he scored 15 runs off the last over but it was too little too late for Pune who have now lost five matches in a row.
The win moved Bangalore to second on the table, on nine points, just one point behind Mumbai.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: CH Gayle, TM Dilshan, V Kohli, AB de Villiers (wk), SS Tiwary, M Kaif, Z Khan, DL Vettori (capt), S Aravind, J Syed Mohammad, A Mithun
Pune Warriors: JD Ryder, TD Paine (wk), MD Mishra, MK Pandey, M Manhas, RV Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh (capt), R Sharma, JE Taylor, AC Thomas, Kamran Khan