IPL 2016: Ruthless and sublime, de Villiers and Kohli dismantle Gujarat

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May 14, 2016

Brief Scorecard: Royal Challengers Bangalore 248 for 3 (De Villiers 129*, Kohli 109) beat Gujarat Lions 104 (Jordan 4-11, Chahal 3-19) by 144 runs

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli added 229 for the second wicket in just 96 balls, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Gujarat Lions, IPL 2016, Bangalore, May 14, 2016 – BCCI

May 14, 2016

Brief Scorecard: Royal Challengers Bangalore 248 for 3 (De Villiers 129*, Kohli 109) beat Gujarat Lions 104 (Jordan 4-11, Chahal 3-19) by 144 runs

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli added 229 for the second wicket in just 96 balls, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Gujarat Lions, IPL 2016, Bangalore, May 14, 2016 – BCCI

BANGALORE: At one point, the numbers ceased to matter. The bowler running in was incidental. Field placements? Pfft. It was simply a merciless display of boundary hitting by AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday (May 14), to leave in little doubt Royal Challengers Bangalore's 144-run win over Gujarat Lions.

Kohli and de Villiers brought up belligerent centuries as they combined for a record 229-run stand in 97 balls – easily crossing the 215 runs they added against Mumbai Indians for the highest ever tournament partnership just a year ago – to keep alive Bangalore's flagging play-off hopes in the Indian Premier League 2016.

De Villiers finished unbeaten on 52-ball 129, while Kohli took 55 balls for his 109 – a third ton of a remarkable season – only falling in the final over as Bangalore put up 248 for 3. A total of 20 sixes and 15 fours flew off the bats of the duo. With the luxury of a massive total to defend, Bangalore's much-maligned bowling attack giving a better account of themselves, and the visitors could go no further than 104 all out in 18.4. Gujarat remain second on the table, but they did their negative net run-rate no favors with the biggest ever margin of defeat in IPL history.

Asked to bat, Bangalore's persistence with Chris Gayle again went unrewarded as the Jamaican's sorry run of single-digit scores continued. Gujarat's new ball bowlers were careful to give him no room, Praveen Kumar greeting him with swing with the very first ball of the game. A four came off the eleventh ball he faced, but two balls later, he chopped Dhawal Kulkarni onto the stumps, bowled for a 13-ball 6 that took his tally in the last five games to 19 runs.

But that was the only bright spot for the Gujarat players. The arrival of de Villiers quickly saw Bangalore's Power Play score race to a more respectable 42 for 1 from the 19 for 1 they were at the end of the fourth over.

De Villiers began with an attack on the spinners, but soon enough, nothing mattered. The first real indication of things to come was advertised in Bangalore's 12th over. Kulkarni's early good work was undone as Kohli and de Villiers took him for 22 runs. The South African smashed a series of 6, 4, 4 to bring up his fifty in just 25 balls, alongside Bangalore's hundred.

Then in the 16th, Praveen Kumar was taken for 23 by an unstoppable de Villiers – a legside six that found the top tier, one more over midwicket, a boundary straight down the ground, a full toss over long-on for maximum, and a scampered single over cover to bring up a well-deserved hundred. This one took just 43 deliveries.

That over marked the first of five that brought a total of 112 runs, as Kohli too decided to add to his two centuries of the season. Bravo and Shivil Kaushik had their figures massacred, ending on 3-0-46-0 and 3-0-50-0 respectively.

Praveen (2 for 45), left with the unenviable task of having to bowl the last over, scalped two wickets to go with his first-over maiden, including that of Kohli. But that would have come as scarce consolation after the third ball of the 20th was taken by the Bangalore captain for a straight six to bring up his century off 53 balls.

De Villiers could do no wrong on the field either, holding onto two vital catches.

S Arvind had Dwayne Smith castled in the second over. Before long, Brendon McCullum, Gujarat's stand-in captain and their biggest hope – especially given the absence of Suresh Raina who was away for the birth of his first child – was sent packing by Yuzvendra Chahal's legspin, caught by the safe hands of de Villiers.

Then, it was another exhibition of Gujarat's persistent problem of losing wickets in clusters. Chahal (3-19) took care of the middle order and after three thankless games, Chris Jordan (4-11) finally found success with two double-wicket overs.

Jordan had Dinesh Karthik caught by a running de Villiers, before holding on to a return catch from Ravindra Jadeja the very next ball.

Gujarat had lost five wickets even before they reached fifty, and their flickering candle of hope was extinguished. Jordan returned in the 13th over of the innings to bowl both Praveen and Kulkarni. Aaron Finch stuck around (37), but with even Kohli, Gayle and Sachin Baby (2-4) having a bowl – Kohli throwing the ball to those who could get through their overs quickly with an eye on the over-rate – the chase descended into a farcical waiting game.

When de Villiers crossed 21 runs to go past a total of 3000 in the IPL, it allowed Bangalore the unique distinction of having three batsmen in their playing XI who had crossed the landmark. Two of those rewrote history on the day, doing little to disprove the argument that RCB win on the back of their batting virtuosos.


Courtesy: Wisden India