Published on: May 19, 2023
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star Virat Kohli notched up his sixth Indian Premier League (IPL) ton and first in four years as his team registered a thumping eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Thursday, May 18.
Enter Blog Content hereBatting first after losing the toss in match number 65 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, SRH put up a decent 186/5 as their in-form wicketkeeper-batter Heinrich Klaasen hammered 104 off only 51 balls.
Hyderabad got off to a poor start as Michael Bracewell dismissed Abhishek Sharma (11 off 14) and Rahul Tripathi (15 off 12) in the fifth over. Sharma cut a short and wide ball to cover-point, while Tripathi miscued his seep to short fine-leg.
Klaasen and SRH captain Aiden Markram (18 off 20) added 76 for the third wicket, but the latter was more of a silent partner in the stand. Markram woes came to an end when he was bowled by Shahbaz Ahmed, attempting a reverse sweep.
Markram’s dismissal proved to be a blessing in disguise as Harry Brook (27 not out off 19) joined Klaasen and the two added 74 for the fourth wicket. Klaasen’s wonderful knock featured eight fours and six sixes, while Brook hit two fours and a maximum.
In the chase, Kohli and Faf du Plessis were absolutely dominant, adding 172 for the opening wicket in 17.5 overs. The former struck 12 fours and four sixes in his brilliant innings off 100 in 63 balls. In fact, Kohli reached his hundred with a six, whipping Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He perished off the very next delivery, but had put RCB in complete command.
Du Plessis hit seven fours and two sixes in his 71 off 47. His fine knock ended when he holed out off T Natarajan’s bowling. Glenn Maxwell and Bracewell combined to finish off proceedings.
Speaking after being named Player of the Match, Kohli said, “Quite special considering the magnitude of the game. Thought SRH got a very good score. Ball was gripping as well. We wanted a good solid start. Didn't expect to be 172/0. But that's how well Faf and me have played this season. Faf's been on a different level. I've had a quiet couple of games.”
He added, “The way I was hitting in the nets wasn't transitioning into the middle in the last 2-3 matches. Wanted to make an impact and my intent was to go after the bowlers from ball 1 - something I've done through the season. There was a dip but I wanted to pick my game up at the right time.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent