Morkel's effort in vain
Virat Kohli (Gallo Images)
New Delhi - Virat Kohli smashed a brisk half-century to help Royal Challengers Bangalore post a three-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils in their Indian Premier League match on Tuesday.
He hit two sixes and eight fours in his 38-ball 56 as Bangalore surpassed Delhi's total of 160-6 with three balls to spare for their third win in seven matches of the Twenty20 tournament.
Bangalore needed 22 runs to win in the last three overs, but skipper Daniel Vettori (18 not out) and Syed Mohammad (13 not out) held their nerve under pressure to see their team home.
It was Delhi's fourth defeat in six matches.
Kohli looked in excellent touch from the beginning, cracking four boundaries in an over from seamer Irfan Pathan before completing his half-century off just 31 balls.
He put on 82 for the second wicket with West Indies opener Chris Gayle after the first-ball dismissal of Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan. Gayle, who hit a century in the previous match, scored a 14-ball 26.
Delhi fought back when they dismissed Gayle, South African AB de Villiers (five) and Kohli in the space of 13 runs to reduce Bangalore to 96-4. Kohli fell in the 10th over, bowled by South African paceman Morne Morkel.
Morkel then removed Saurabh Tiwary (18) and Abhimanyu Mithun in the same over to finish with 3-25 off four overs.
Australian James Hopes earlier hit a 43-ball 54 with the help of seven fours as Delhi reached a competitive total at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground.
Put in to bat, Delhi suffered a twin blow when they lost openers David Warner (seven) and skipper Virender Sehwag (25) in the space of 10 runs. Australian Warner was bowled by paceman Zaheer Khan while Sehwag was run out.
Hopes and Venugopal Rao steadied the innings with a 47-run stand for the fourth wicket. Rao hit one six and two fours in his 21-ball 24 before being bowled by New Zealand left-arm spinner Vettori.
Delhi Daredevils 160-6 in 20 overs (J. Hopes 54, V. Sehwag 25, V. Rao 24; A. Mithun 2-37) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 161-7 in 19.3 overs (V. Kohli 56, C. Gayle 26; M. Morkel 3-25) by three wickets.