Last Updated: May 18, 2023, 23:48 IST
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Virat Kohli stepped up and conquered Hyderabad with an imposing hundred to set up a dominating win for Royal Challengers Bangalore in a crunch game of IPL 2023.
Kohli equaled the record for the most IPL centuries by Chris Gayle by scoring his sixth such total and first since 2019. He clubbed 12 fours and four sixes in his 100 off 63 to keep RCB on course for a spot in the playoffs.
Batting first, Sunrisers Hyderabad posted a challenging 186/5 thanks to a blazing century from Heinrich Klaasen – his maiden of IPL career. Before Kohli took over the centerstage, it was Klaasen who blasted 104 off 51 with the help of eight fours and six sixes.
However, Kohli and RCB skipper Faf du Plessis added 172 runs for the opening partnership to all but seal their team’s win. Du Plessis continued his remarkable form this season hitting 71 off 47 as RCB chased down the target with four deliveries to spare.
IPL Points Table
The win was RCB’s seventh of the season and it has taken their points tally to 14 now. And they have also improved their net run rate.
The victory has helped them swap places with Mumbai Indians. RCB are now fourth in the standings or in other words, they have climbed into the playoffs zone.
MI have dropped to fifth despite on 14 points themselves because of a poor net run rate.
Gujarat Titans (18 points), Chennai Super Kings (15 points) and Lucknow Super Giants (15 points) continue to occupy the top-three spots in that order.
There was a phase when Du Plessis’ top spot in the run-getters list was in real danger when Yashavi Jaiswal had reduced the gap to just one run. However, the South African continues to pile on the runs and has become the firs batter this season to cross the 700-run mark.
Du Plessis has now 702 runs from 13 innings at 58.50 and a stunning strike-rate of 153.94. He has scored eight half-centuries.
It was a memorable night for Kohli too as he scored his first IPL ton since 2019. He has breached the 500-run mark and taken his tally to 538 runs from 13 innings with the help of a century and six fifties.
Heinrich Klaasen has entered the top-10 with 430 runs from 10 innings.
The purple cap stays with Mohammed Shami of Gujarat Titans who has 23 wickets from 13 matches. Rashid Khan is a rung below his team-mate despite as many wickets because of a higher economy rate.
Yuzendra Chahal is third with 21 wickets from 13 matches.
Mohammed Siraj took one wicket, off the last delivery of the SRH innings, and took his tally to 17 which helped him move a rung to eighth spot.