Virat Kohli basked in his meaningful contribution to Bangalore’s three-wicket win over the Daredevils in Tuesday’s Indian Premier League clash in Delhi.
Chasing a tough 161-run target across a low and slow pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla, the Royal Challengers relied heavily on Kohli’s 56 to set up their second consecutive win of the tournament.
The talented right-hander stepped to the crease at first drop after opener Tillakaratne Dilshan fell for a duck and enjoyed a key 82-run partnership with Chris Gayle before being bowled by Morne Morkel.
Saurabh Tiwary’s 18, captain Daniel Vettori’s unbeaten 18 and tail-ender Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad’s 13 not out were left to see the visitors to a tight triumph with three balls to spare.
The result brought Bangalore their third win of the 2011 IPL, which now has them sitting pretty at second in the 10-team standings.
“I’ve always looked to bat at number three, where I can get myself in and play my shots. I’m loving it. I was really keen that we win this match. We lost three in a row and now winning two back to back gives us some momentum,” enthused Kohli, who bagged the Man of the Match award for his effort.
Victorious skipper Vettori hailed a superb all-round performance from his charges, which was exemplified by Kohli’s form, Gayle’s 26-run flier, Abhimanyu Mithun two key wickets and Syed Mohammad’s steel in striking the winning runs off the fourth-last ball of the match.
“Kohli played an amazing innings. That partnership at the start set it up for us. We were fortunate that Syed Mohammad came out and played with a cool head. He has been a good find for us so far. This was out best bowling performance as well,” he enthused.
Defeated skipper Virender Sehwag, whose side had earlier in the day relied on James Hopes’ 54 to carry them to 160 for six, admitted the track did not offer as much pace as he had expected it to.
“The ball was not coming onto the bat. They cut a lot of grass off the pitch, which we didn’t want, But we have to carry on with whatever pitch we get,” said Sehwag.
While first-change fast bowler Morkel finished with superb figures of three for 25 in a losing cause, new-ball pairing Ashok Dinda and Irfan Pathan were the most expensive Delhi bowlers by a long shot. Right-arm seamer Dinda conceded 36 runs across his 3.3 overs and left-armer Pathan fetched 26 runs from his three overs.
“I think we gave away too many boundary balls in the first six overs. It really was bad bowling.” added Sehwag.
“The pressure is on Delhi now.” Cricket365