Captain Virat Kohli smashed his second century of the season in a magnificent batting display to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore to a thrilling seven-wicket win over Rising Pune Supergiants on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab bowlers displayed exceptional death bowling skills as they shocked a formidable Delhi Daredevils by 9 runs to keep their campaign alive.
Virat Kohli in T20s in 2016....Mts: 21Inns: 20Runs: 1166Ave: 106.00S/r: 141.84100s/50s: 2/11#RCBvRPS#IPL— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) May 7, 2016
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 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 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.
Another Kohli classic. A line used before, a line to be used again.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 7, 2016
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 with sufficient help from the RCB fielders.
In the other match, defending a target of 181, Kings XI Punjab restricted Daredevils to 172 for 5 even as the Zaheer Khan led outfit looked set to get 44 off 4 overs, which was considered par for the course on a flat batting wicket.
While KXIP's third win does not change their position in the league table but certainly keeps them alive while Daredevils will rue a missed opportunity even though they stay put at third place in the table.
The hero for KXIP would be Mohit Sharma (0/21 in 4 overs) who did not get any wickets but should unbelievable variations to bowl 12 dot balls equivalent two maiden overs.