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IPL 2013 – RCB vs SRH: Kohli’s Commanding Knock Routs Sunrisers

By on April 9, 2013

IPL 2013 - RCB vs SRH: Virat KohliRoyal Challengers Bangalore 162 for 3 (Kohli 93*, Agarwal 29) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 161 for 6 (White 52, Perera 40) by seven wickets…

Virat Kolhi’s imperious 93 not out from 47 balls helped Royal Challengers Bangalore avenge their Super-Over loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad and delivered the team’s second win in three matches. Chris Gayle could manage nothing but a start as Royal Challengers chased the opposition’s 161 for 6, but Kohli was fluent almost from the outset and, despite his hyper-aggression, rarely played a false stroke throughout his innings. The Sunrisers’ total had largely been set up by Cameron White and Thisara Perera, who helped overcome their team’s slow start, but Royal Challengers finished the match at a gallop with seven wickets in hand and 14 balls to spare.

Kohli came to the crease at 39 for 1 in the sixth over, and began his rampage in earnest when AB de Villiers joined him after Gayle’s dismissal. The pair struck 49 together from 35 balls, setting their side well on course for a win – although de Villiers made only 15 of those runs. On 37 from 22 at the time, Kohli found yet another gear and, by the end of the match, Moises Henriques, who came in to bat after de Villiers, had contributed only seven runs to an unbroken 65-run fourth-wicket partnership that secured the result. Fittingly, the winning runs came off Kohli’s bat as he hit a square-drive off an Ishant Sharma delivery in the 18th over.

Kohli hit four sixes and 11 fours in his innings, getting off the mark with a four off the first ball he faced as he leaned back to punch Thisara Perara powerfully through the covers. The boundaries flowed all around the ground, as the delicate cuts off the spinners were counterbalanced by arrogant drives off the faster bowlers. With 45 needed off the last five overs, Sunrisers may have felt they still had a chance in the match, but Kohli launched Amit Mishra for consecutive straight sixes early in the 16th over, in which he eventually plundered 21. He hit five more fours in the next two overs to close the match.

White and Perera came together for Sunrisers after their side had ambled through the Powerplay overs, and traveled at barely a run-a-ball in the first half of their innings. Neither batsman risked adventure early in their innings, but quickly began pushing the scoring rate along after the 14th over. White began the charge in the 15th over with a pull off Jaydev Unadkat, before Perera clubbed the bowler over the long-on fence, with a shot that was effectively a two-handed tennis forehand. Unadkat conceded 14 runs in that over.

By the 17th over, the pair had added another 37 runs as they exploited the length deliveries that the Royal Challengers bowlers offered them. White hit three sixes and three fours in his 52 from 34 balls, while Perera struck four sixes and a four in his 24-ball 40. Both men perished searching for boundaries, but they had put on 80 together, leaving their side within touching distance of a competitive 160. A good final over from RP Singh, who took 3 wickets for 27, ensured Sunrisers did not get much more than that.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo‘s Sri Lanka correspondent.

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