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IPL 9 Match 35 Review: Virat Kohli’s ton washes RPS away

Virat Kohli RCB
Bengaluru: Bengaluru: RCB captain Virat Kohli in action during an IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiants at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on May 7, 2016. (Photo Source: IANS)

Two of the struggling sides of the tournament, Rising Pune Supergiants, and Royal Challengers Bangalore met at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. A win at the venue would have helped the home side keep their chances alive for making it to the playoffs whereas a defeat for RPS would have meant an absolute dead end to their chances.

It was a skipper special from Virat Kohli that guided RCB to a much-needed win. The RPS, on the other hand, are now virtually out of the tournament. Kohli’s unbeaten ton saw RCB overhaul the target of 191 set by RPS.

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Earlier in the day, winning the toss, RCB skipper Virat Kohli put in RPS to bat first. The Supergiants started off on a high with their openers Ajinkya Rahane and Usman Khawaja taking a heavy toll on the bowlers. A horrid misunderstanding at the wicket saw both batsmen at the same end. With none of the two willing to sacrifice, it was Khawaja who was dismissed run out on 16 off just 5 balls. Saurabh Tiwary joined Rahane at the crease.

What perspired after that was a comedy of errors or rather a curious case of sloppy fielding. RCB looked like dropping everything that came their way. In the last over of the powerplay, Tiwary was given two lives after he was dropped off two consecutive deliveries by Varun Aaron. Stuart Binny dropped Tiwary in the covers while Sachin Baby dropped him point. An over later, Shane Watson made a mockery of a simple catch coming his way. KL Rahul missed a stumping soon after, leaving the RCB skipper fuming from inside. The duo took the side to 60/1 by the end of the powerplay.

Both batsmen soon brought up their half centuries. They put on 106 off just 70 balls for the 2nd wicket before Saurabh Tiwary was stumped off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal. Tiwary scored 52 off 39 balls with 9 boundaries. MS Dhoni could make any big impact and was soon dismissed by Shane Watson. Thisara Perera walked into the middle and hit a four and a six before becoming Chris Jordan’s maiden IPL wicket.

Shane Watson picked up the key wicket of Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 74 off just 47 with 8 fours and a couple of sixes. Watson picked up his 3rd wicket by dismissing George Bailey for a duck. A six from Rajat Bhatia and Ravichandran Ashwin towards the end of the innings propelled RPS score to 191/6 in their stipulated 20 overs.

RCB run chase started off very slowly with the openers KL Rahul and Virat Kohli being very cautious. Suddenly, the explosive pair erupted and started playing their shots freely. With 46 runs in the powerplay, RCB openers had set the launch pad. They put on 94 off 67 balls for the opening wicket. It was the debutant Adam Zampa’s 3rd over that gave RPS some respite. He got rid of KL Rahul first by dismissing him on 38 off 35 balls. In the same over, he got the prized scalp of AB de Villiers on just 1.

Meanwhile, skipper Kohli continued to bat in his sublime form and brought up his half-century. Just when the Supergiants looked like taking control of the game, Shane Watson arrived at the party. Needing 89 off 42 was an uphill task until Shane Watson hit 5 boundaries in the 14th over bowled by Thisara Perera. In the very next over, he clobbered Rajat Bhatia for 2 sixes. Much to the relief of RPS, RP Singh took the wicket of Shane Watson by trapping him lbw in the 16th over. But, the damage had already been done though with Watson scoring 36 off 12 balls.

Travis Head joined the skipper in the middle. The wickets at the other end left Kohli unfazed and he continued his onslaught with an 18-run over in the 18th over. Needing 22 off the last 2 overs, skipper Dhoni gave the ball to RP Singh. Virat Kohli hit two sixes off the last two balls of the over to bring up his 2nd T20 ton and his second of this season to almost seal the game for his side. His century came in just 56 balls.

Talk about leading from the front and this man did it with perfection. Virat Kohli led his side to a thumping 7 wicket win over the Rising Pune Supergiants. The Supergiants are now apparently out of the tournament. Kohli remained unbeaten on 108 off 58 balls with 8 fours and 7 sixes.

Brief Scores:

Rising Pune Supergiants – 191/6 in 20 overs ( Ajinkya Rahane 74, Shane Watson 3/24)

Royal Challengers Bangalore – 195/3 in 19.3 overs (Virat Kohli 108*, Adam Zampa 2/35)

Man of the Match: Virat Kohli

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