Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rising Pune Supergiants, IPL 2016, Bangalore May 7, 2016

Kohli hits second ton as Royal Challengers chase 192

The Report by Sirish Raghavan
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Royal Challengers Bangalore 195 for 3 (Kohli 108*) beat Rising Pune Supergiants 191 for 6 (Rahane 74, Tiwary 52, Watson 3-24) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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WATCH - Kohli leads Royal Challengers to vital victory

"I hope it doesn't prove costly," a miked-up George Bailey murmured after narrowly missing an opportunity to run Virat Kohli out. Kohli had been on 4 at the time. He ended up smoking an unbeaten 108 off 58, made a chase of 192 look almost routine and steered Royal Challengers Bangalore to victory over Rising Pune Supergiants.

Supergiants' total was founded on fifties from Ajinkya Rahane and Saurabh Tiwary and, even more so, on a litany of errors from Royal Challengers in the field. But, led by Kohli, and boosted by crucial knocks from KL Rahul and Shane Watson, Royal Challengers brought the full force of their batting might to bear on a hapless bowling attack.

A chase of 192 requires a good start, and it was provided by Kohli and Rahul. There were three quiet at the start before a series of classy drives - along the ground and through the air - took the score to 94 without loss by the 11th over. Supergiants hit back in the next over when legspinner Adam Zampa, on IPL debut, dismissed Rahul and then the dangerous AB de Villiers as well.

With 89 needed off 42, Shane Watson combined lusty strikes with streaky edges and before the bowler Thisara Perera knew it he had given away five fours in an over. With back-to-back sixes off Rajat Bhatia, whose slow cutters had started to become predictable, Watson brought the equation to 50 off 30 balls.

The next two overs belonged to Supergiants - RP Singh dismissed Watson and R Ashwin, introduced in the 17th over, conceded just seven. But Kohli remained. He plundered four sixes and a four off Zampa and RP Singh to leave just four runs to get off the final over, and applied the finishing touch himself. Kohli became the quickest batsman to 500 runs in an IPL season; achieving the landmark in eight innings, one better than his team-mate Chris Gayle, who was left out of the XI on Saturday.

Unlike their captain, the Royal Challengers bowlers and fielders were off their game. Missed chances have been a persistent irritant for them this season, but they graduated to a battering ram of woe today.

Tiwary was dropped twice in as many balls in the sixth over; Stuart Binny missed a straightforward chance at short cover and Sachin Baby was unable to hold on despite getting both hands behind the ball at point. Tiwary received a third life, on 25, when Rahul fluffed a stumping and went on to make 52 off 39 balls. It was his second fifty in three matches.

The worst of Royal Challengers' errors came in the eighth over, when Rahane was surprised by Varun Aaron's extra bounce and the ball popped up towards where silly mid-on might have been. Both the bowler and Watson, running in from midwicket attempted to get under it, but no one went for the catch. The ball landed barely a foot from Watson.

Rahane finished with 78 off 48 balls, with eight fours and two sixes. His sixth half-century of the season put Supergiants on course for a total over 200. They went into the final five overs with eight wickets in hand and that allowed the batsmen coming in to look for runs despite risk. Supergiants did get 53 off these overs, but they needed a lot more considering Kohli was going to be in his happy place - with a target to chase.

Sirish Raghavan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ThakshMT on May 10, 2016, 18:43 GMT

    @Cricinfouser Clearly you haven't noticed the stark difference in the Aussie surfaces that Kohli played in that 4-test series (when he scored 4 centuries) and the traditional Australian pitches. These pitches were absolute batting decks with hardly much pace or bounce. Kohli is adept at nudging or lapping the short balls for singles but his capacity for scoring quick against short pitch bowling is fairly limited, since his weight is constantly forward. His dismissal in the 2015 World Cup semi when he tried to impose against a quick bouncer by Johnson is a prime example. Lets see how Kohli copes with this obvious shortcoming

  • skarteek2000 on May 10, 2016, 4:46 GMT

    RPS is the first team to bow out of IPL?? Dhoni and his poor captaincy is to be blamed.. He doesn't bat and now he has become a poor at captiancy too..

  •   Cricinfouser on May 10, 2016, 2:52 GMT

    @ThakshMT clearly you haven't watched Kohli bat this year. Since January when India played Australia down under in the ODI and T20 series, it was obvious that Kohli added the cut shot to his repertoire. It's not a conventional cut shot, but more of a slap. The thing he's doing well is picking up the length early. What makes Kohli special is his ability to hit the nets and rectify his weaknesses and eventually turn them into a strength. As for short pitched bowling, you don't score as many runs as he has in Australia if you aren't good against the short ball. He's actually one of the best in the world at playing short pitched bowling. Again, that was once a weakness for him. There were plenty of pull shots a few years ago during the 4-Test series down under when he scored 4 centuries.

  • Comment123 on May 10, 2016, 1:28 GMT

    Captaincy is based on results plus team strength that Ponting, Ganguly had. Virat with Gayle, ABD, and excellent allrounder Watson is still struggling to qualify.

    RPS has Morkel, Bailey, Dinda, RP, Ishant, Irfan, Ishwar, Bhatia etc. who do not play for their countries regularly in T20s. Perera has not won many for SL recently.

    SS Tiwari not as good as five years ago.

    Key players Faf, Steve, Pieterson, Marsh injured.

    Poor fielding team.

    No class all-rounder.

    Khawaja is just beginning to blossom in T20s.

    R Ashwin is no more able to take wickets this year. MSD not as good as before.

    Aparajith (SR 101.32 in 19 matches), Ankit (33 wkts in 46 matches) or Handscomb (SR 112.19), Bains, Chahar, Jaskaran still to prove.

    With these, they cannot win against teams who are more settled like KKR, Sunrisers, MI, RCB or Gujarat.

    It is not captain but it is the team that is the weak link!!!

  • Cricinfouser on May 9, 2016, 10:06 GMT

    Msd -/191 m - 104w -72L - 4T-11nr - 59 % . Azar - 174m- 90w- 76L- 54% Ganguli - 146m - 76w- 65L- 53% @Anand this two captain's are great fan of MSD.

  •   Anand Raj on May 9, 2016, 9:15 GMT

    @CRICINFOUSER then stop taking the credit when team Wins, he is just another player right

  • Cricinfouser on May 9, 2016, 8:08 GMT

    See the statistics. This is team effort. MSD alone can't play for remaining 10 members. Some times he played like that also.

  •   Anand Raj on May 9, 2016, 7:20 GMT

    I still wonder how Dhoni was called best captain of the World when we had likes of Ponting ,Waugh,Smith ,cronje etc,Dhoni inherited the team built by Azhar and Ganguly and Most of his victories came in Indian flat pitches or rank turners with the help of spin bowlers,and fact that the players behind his victory are tendulkar,Sehwag,gambir,kumble,yuvaraj ,Ashwin Etc,In most of the matches these players setup Platform and he used to finish the matches and labeled as finisher

  • Comment123 on May 9, 2016, 3:49 GMT

    There is always a phase in a cricketers life. Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar all enjoyed season of success and failures.

    At CSK, he has won matches for CSK and also led them well. He had a good team then. Some players performed better under him than for other teams like Bravo, Jadeja and Raina.

    Under his captaincy, he has won World cups both limited overs and T20, Champions trophy and many more. He came as a wicket-keeper who could bat but turned out to be a key performer for India and CSK.

    Even today MSD runs well between wickets and has reasonably good reflexes while he keeps. He is unable to time his ball as well as before. But this year's failure is because he does not have good fielding, bowling or batting unit. Plagued by injuries to four of their players can hamper confidence of even a good captain like him. His bowling unit is unpredictable. For example RCBs match was lost because of poor death-end bowling.

  • Cricinfouser on May 8, 2016, 19:28 GMT

    Totally 9 IPL ... CSK played 8 IPL .. Final 6 times . win 2 titles . ... Salute MSD

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