26 april 2011
Kohli leads RCB to narrow win over Daredevils
New Delhi: Virat Kohli scored a breezy half century to help Royal Challengers Bangalore eke out a narrow three-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League match here today.
Kohli was in a murderous mood as he made a crucial 56 and hit as many as eight boundaries and two sixes during his 38-ball stay at the crease. Apart from Kohli, last match centurion Chris Gayle (26 off 14) played a good hand up the order while captain Daniel Vettori (18 not out), Saurabh Tiwary (18) and Syed Mohammad (13 not out) made useful contributions towards the end to see Bangalore overwhelm the 161-run target with three balls to spare.
The start to Bangalore’s run chase was far from rosy as they lost Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second ball of the innings when he top-edged one to wicket-keeper Naman Ojha off Ashok Dinda. But new man in Virat Kohli seemed in ominous form as he opened his scoring with back-to-back fours off Dinda.
Irfan Pathan then had to face the brunt of Kohli as he struck the left-arm pacer for as many as four boundaries in the next over to give impeteus to Bangalore innings. Last match centurion Chris Gayle joined the party soon, clobbering Morne Morkel for a four and six and the hit Dinda for two fours to bring up Bangalore’s fifty in the fifth over.
The duo raised 82 runs off just 43 deliveries before Gayle was caught at the deep square leg boundary by Venugopal Rao off Hopes to draw curtains on the dangerous looking second wicket partnership. Then two quick in a span of three balls turned the match upside down as Delhi gained the upper hand with Bangalore tottering at 96 for four in 9.1 overs.
In search of a double, AB de Villiers fell to a David Warner’s brilliance as he was caught short at the bowlers end with a direct hit from the Australian and then a ball later Morkel induced an inside edge on to the stumps from in-form Kohli to send the crowd into frenzied celebrations. Cheteshwar Pujara (7) did very little to help his own and his side’s cause, handing a long hop to Warner off Yogesh Nagar.
Tiwary (18) and Vettori raised some hopes for Bangalore with a 32-run sixth wicket stand but it soon diminished when Tiwary and Abhimanyu Mithun fell in the 17th over to Morkel with the visitors still needing 22 runs off three overs.
But Syed Mohammad was in no mood to give up without a fight as he hit two classy fours off Umesh Yadav to bring down the equation to 12 off 12 balls. From there on, both Vettori and Mohammad played some sensible cricket to guide Bagalore past the 161-run target.