IPL 2016: Kohli hundred powers RCB to 82-run victory over KXIP

May 19 2016 10:15AM

NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli scored another hundred, a record fourth of the season, to help Royal Challengers Bangalore crush Kings XI Punjab by 82 runs, via the Duckworth-Lewis method, at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Wednesday. The victory was RCB's third on the trot as they jumped to second in the standings with 14 points after 13 games.

After a heavy downpour delayed the start by one hour and 45 minutes, it was raining sixes in Bengaluru as Kohli and Chris Gayle smacked eight sixes each to power RCBto a massive total of 211/3 against KXIP in the rain-truncated 15-over-a-side game. Kohli, who was playing with eight stitches after splitting the webbing of his left hand in the previous game, scored a magnificent 113 off 50 balls with the help of eight sixes and 12 fours, whereas Gayle clobbered eight sixes and four boundaries during his 32-ball 73 blitzkrieg.

Chasing a massive target of 212, Punjab skipper Murali Vijay started the chase positively, hitting two fours off the first two balls by Stuart Binny. But the pressure of huge total meant they needed to continue hitting boundaries every over and while trying the same, Vijay (16 off 8) was clean bowled by Sreenath Aravind in the second over after he hit a six two balls prior. Wriddhiman Saha then took the mantle of scoring quick runs after his skipper departed, and smacked five fours in the next 11 balls before he was trapped leg before by Yuzvendra Chahal in the fourth over. Saha contributed 24 off 10 balls in his short cameo.

After that Punjab lost wickets at regular intervals and in clusters to make the already difficult chase tougher. First, they lost Hashim Amla (9) in the fifth over and David Miller (3) three balls later to Shane Watson in the sixth as they were reduced to 54/4 in 5.1 overs. Punjab then lost three more wickets in quick succession, Axar Patel (13) hit a six and a four before giving away a catch to Kohli off Watson in the eighth, before Farhaan Behardien and Kyle Abbott fell for identical scores of zero to Chahal in the next over.

Two overs later, Gurkeerat Singh Mann became the fourth victim of Chahal as the spinner finished his quota of three overs with impressive figures of 4/25. Only rain came to their rescue in the end as it stopped the game with KXIP on 120/9 in 14 overs.

Earlier, Kohli and Gayle put on a massive 147 runs for the opening wicket in just 66 balls to destroy the Punjab attack from the word go. There was a period, from 8.5 to 10.5 overs, when they dealt just in sixes smacking eight of them to score 48 runs in two overs. Axar Patel broke the partnership in the 11th over, but after conceding three sixes to Gayle in it, who scored his first fifty of the season off just 26 balls. RCB lost in-form AB de Villiers four balls later to Kyle Abbott, who went back to the dugout without disturbing the scorecard. But Kohli continued the mayhem, hitting five more fours to race to his record fourth hundred of the season off 47 balls, which included seven maximums and 11 fours. The magical innings ended three balls later to Sandeep Sharma, but only after smashing another six and a four, as he scored 113 off 50 balls.

It's hard to recall that Gayle and Kohli started the innings watchfully as they checked the pitch after a long rain delay and scored just 17 runs in the first three overs. Gayle was the first to shift the gears, hitting two sixes and a four in consecutive balls off Abbott as he plundered 18 in the fourth over. Gayle started the fifth, bowled by KC Cariappa, with a six and a four before Kohli hit his first maximum of the day to make it another 18-run over to take RCB to 53/0 after five powerplay overs.

Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 211/3 (Kohli 113, Gayle 73; Sandeep Sharma 1/29) crush Kings XI Punjab 120/9 (Saha 24, Gurkeerat 18; Chahal 4/25) by 82 runs (D/L)


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