Indian Premier League 2016
Kohli's stunning ton sees RCB home
Kohli's astonishing run of form continues as Watson also stars in the crucial victory
Gaurav Joshi in Pune
8 May 2016, 12:30 AM AEST
The match in a tweet: King Kohli hits his 2nd IPL ton this season as RCB chase a mammoth 195 to crush the Supergiants.
The hero: How do you stop Virat Kohli? The Royal Challengers skipper arguably played his best T20 innings this season, with a sublime unbeaten knock of 108 from 58 balls in a chase of 195. The trademark of Kohli's masterclass was his ability to continuously pierce the field at will without having to take any risks at all. It took Kohli 10 balls to hit his first boundary but after that he managed to find the rope or clear it every 3.2 balls. The champion batsman’s ability to once again hold his nerve and execute the right shot, despite the run rate peaking at over 13 an over at one point, showcased his pure genius. Kohli is now averaging a staggering 90.16 this season with a strike-rate of 144.65. The man is unstoppable.
The numbers: Kohli's form in the IPL this year has simply been a continuation of his run feast in T20 internationals in 2016. In eight matches for RCB so far, the Indian star has produced scores of 75, 79, 33, 80, 100no, 14, 52 and 108no, to go with the seven scores of fifty or more in 12 T20 internationals this year.
The support cast aka Shane Watson: It was a sensational all-round performance by Shane Watson. With the ball, Watson sent down an economical spell of 4-0-24-3, including a terrific 19th over in which he picked up the wicket of well-set Rahane (74) and George Bailey for a duck , and gave away only four runs to stall the Pune innings. The night would get better for Watto, as he smashed 36 from just 13 balls including five boundaries from one over (see below).
The High Five: Needing 89 from 42 balls, Shane Watson swung the game in the Royal Challengers’ favour by clobbering five boundaries in one Thisara Perera over. The over yielded 20 runs and in blink of eye the game had changed.
The consolation effort: Ajinkya Rahane is Mr Consistent. The Pune opener keeps flying under the radar but his half-century was his sixth in 10 innings this season. He warmed into his innings with couple of sweetly timed boundaries before picking up his scoring rate as the situation demanded. Rahane used the depth and the width of the crease to maneuver the ball to all corners of the field. He was particularly brutal against pacemen Chris Jordan and Varun Aaron, hitting the pair for 42 run from 21 balls. Rahane finally perished in 19th over for 74 but in the process he had propelled Pune to a total of 191.
The debut: Adam Zampa finished with admirable figures of 4-0-34-2, in his first IPL appearance. The Aussie leg-spinner’s second over was one he would cherish for long time, as he deceived the well-set KL Rahul and claimed the scalp of South African ace, AB De Villiers.
The butter-fingers: It was horror performance in the field by RCB. Four dropped catches - one not even attempted - one missed stumping and three crucial misfields that led to boundaries. The lowlight was the two dollies dropped on consecutive deliveries in the 6th over, both times handing a reprieve to Saurab Tiwary, who went on to score 52.
The stat: Royal Challengers have now hit the most sixes of all the teams in the IPL this season.
The next stops: The Supergiants next week the in-from Sunrisers in Hyderabad. Royal Challengers only have a couple of days off before a long trip to the north to take on the bottom-placed Kings XI in Mohali.