RCB rides on Kohli’s second IPL ton to beat Pune by 7 wickets
Kohli struck an unbeaten 108 off just 58 balls with the help of eight fours and seven sixes in a display of batting pyrotechnics at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here as Bangalore chased down the challenging target of 192 with three balls to spare to notch up their third win in eight matches.
The RCB skipper entered into record books as he became the only batsman to score two tons in a single IPL season. He also joined the likes of Brendon McCullum, Shane Watson, David Warner, AB de Villiers, Adam Gilchrist and Virender Sehwag to hit two IPL centuries overall. The record for most number of IPL tons — five - though still belongs to Chris Gayle.
Kohli’s ton also overshadowed an amazing late assault of 13-ball 36 that included five fours and two sixes by Shane Watson which suddenly tilted the balance of the match in favour of Bangalore after it was poised evenly a couple of overs after the halfway stage.
Bangalore took 39 runs off two overs — 20 from 14th over bowled by Thisara Perera and 19 from the 15th bowled by Rajat Bhatia. Watson smashed a hapless Perera for five fours in a scintillating show of strokemaking. He then hit Bhatia for two sixes as the bowler bled 19 runs.
Kohli then took over as he smashed two sixes and a four off Adam Zampa in the 18th over and two sixes off RP Singh in the 19th over to steal 18 runs from each of the two overs. He hit Ashok Dinda for a four to finish off the match, as Bangalore reached 195 for three in 19.3 overs.
Bangalore, however, made a sedate start in their run chase but soon found the boundaries with Kohli hitting two sixes off RP Singh in the fourth over to set the tempo.
By the end of powerplay overs, Bangalore were placed at a decent 46 for no loss with both Kohli and Lokesh Rahul (38) going strong. Runs keep on coming with Kohli and Rahul getting the boundaries and the home side reached 81 for no loss at the halfway mark.
Just as Bangalore looked like pressing the accelerator, Rahul fell to Zampa as he came down the track for a big drive but only to find the ball turned away and the edge was safely taken by George Bailey at deep cover. Rahul hit one four and two sixes in his 35-ball 38.
De Villiers disapppointed as he fell to Zampa fove balls later for just one after facing three balls. He miscued a drive and Thisara Perera took a catch just above his head just inside the boundary, leaving Bangalore at The match, however, turned on its head and in Bangalore’s favour as the home side milked 39 runs off two overs - 20 from 14th bowled by Perera and 19 from the 15th by Bhatia.
Watson smashed a hapless Perera for five fours in a scintilalting show of strokemaking. He then hit Bhatia for two sixes as the bowler bled 19 runs. That brought down the asking rate to 10 an over and immediately Watson was out LBW to Singh in the 16th over.
Ashwin was introduced in the 17th over and he gave away seven runs and after that he was not used as Kohli made the stadium on fire with a flurry of lusty blows to take the game away from Pune.
Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane and Saurabh Tiwary smashed half centuries to power Pune to an imposing 191 for six after being put into bat.
While opener Rahane made 74 off 48 balls with the help of eight boundaries and two sixes, Tiwary’s 52 came off 39 balls during which he struck nine boundaries.