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Kohli’s fourth ton lifts Bangalore to second

Kohli’s fourth ton lifts Bangalore to second

BANGALORE: A sensational Virat Kohli century — his fourth in the Indian Premier League, and his 147-run partnership with Chris Gayle, was the highlight of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s comprehensive win over Kings XI Punjab here on Wednesday night.

In a rain-affected match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore posted a staggering 211-3 in 15 overs and then reduced the visitors to 120-9 in 14 overs when showers forced a premature end to the match.

Bangalore were found to be ahead by 82 runs against the target worked out using the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method when the skies opened up. As a result of their emphatic win, Bangalore jumped to second in the team standings.

After rain had delayed the start of the match for more than two hours, Punjab captain Murali Vijay called correctly at the toss and put the home side in, hoping his bowlers would use the moisture in the pitch brought about by the surface remaining under the covers.

But he was made to rue that decision as Kohli and Gayle launched an onslaught from both ends, leaving the Punjab bowlers short of ideas as boundaries came thick and fast, and balls were hit into the boundary hoardings and into the stands in regular intervals.

Gayle smashed 73, hitting four boundaries and eight sixes in his 32-ball knock. Kohli matched him stroke-for-stroke at the other end. In the 147-run partnership, which was brought to an end with Gayle’s dismissal in the 11th over, Kohli had contributed 69.

Despite losing A.B. de Villiers for a second-ball duck, Kohli motored along to bring up his fourth T20 century, and in the course displaced Suresh Raina as the top run-getter in the IPL; he needed only 47 balls to get to the three-figure mark — the quickest of his four centuries, each one coming at a progressively quicker pace.

Kohli was dismissed at the end of the 14th over when he attempted to go over the top of long-off, but mishit it and holed out to David Miller on the boundary after making 113 from 50 balls, and his innings was laced with 12 fours and eight sixes.

When Punjab batted leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal returned career-best figures of 4-25.

Summarised scores:

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE 211-3 in 15 overs (V. Kohli 113, C.H. Gayle 73); KINGS XI PUNJAB 120-9 in 14 overs (W.P. Saha 24, Gurkeerat Singh 18; Y.S. Chahal 4-25, S.R. Watson 2-7, S. Aravind 2-18).

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2016

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