Kohli steers RCB home

2015-05-16 07:39
Virat Kohli (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Virat Kohli hammered 44 off 19 balls to give the Royal Challengers Bangalore an improbable four-wicket win in a rain-ruined match in Hyderabad on Friday.

The Challengers were set a target of 81 off six overs with the D/L calculation and were given a great start by Chris Gayle who came out with all guns blazing, slamming three sixes and four fours in 35 off just 10 balls.

It looked done and dusted when Sunrisers' Australian paceman Moises Henriques took two wickets in two balls: first Gayle slapping low to mid-on and then AB de Villiers mistiming completely to be taken by Dale Steyn at long on.

But with such fine margins, even the loss of Dinesh Karthik, run out for two, did not alter the flow of the game. Kohli took 15 off the final over from seamer Bhuvi Kumar to lift the Challengers to a share of second place on the log, with the Kolkata Knight Riders, on 15 points.

Earlier, Henriques had hammered 57 runs in a fiery stand of 103 off 43 balls with David Warner to put the Sunrisers in a strong position at 135 for three off their allotted 11 overs.

The Sunrisers' start was difficult as they struggled to get to grips with the pace. The loss of Shikhar Dhawan (8) was unfortunate as in his anxiety to force the pace he mistimed the second ball from David Wiese to find willing hands at mid-on.

Henriques had no such trouble with his timing and was quickly off the mark, hammering a six and a four off the googly master Yuzvendra Chahal to cap an over which cost 17 runs.

He followed that with another maximum off paceman Ashok Dinda, showing he could adapt to whatever they threw at him, as 18 runs were harvested with the help of two no-balls.

Then came an over from Harshal Patel which really changed the complexion of the innings. Henriques, on 26, was dropped at long-off and then Harshal himself missed an easy opportunity to run out the Australian in a yes-no, stop-go situation. In between those, he struck three fours and a six to take 21 runs off the over. A collection of 56 runs from three overs was a mighty blow.

Henriques was to be dropped again, when on 46, as he and Warner continued to pile on the pressure. But the return of Wiese brought the breakthrough when Henriques stretched for a wide one and edged to Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps.

Eoin Morgan added a little cameo of 11 off seven balls, which would have given the Challengers a target of 136 at 12.3 an over. Rain, Duckworth and Lewis decided it was not enough.

This was the second time in a week that the Challengers have had to play quick and hard, and the last time it ended in tears when they fell woefully short to the Kings XI in a 10-over match.This time around they made no mistake.


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