BENGALURU: When one of the city’s favourite batsmen in the IPL, West Indian Chris Gayle, got out in the second over of their first match, it stunned the M Chinnaswamy Stadium into silence.
After putting Royal Challengers Bangalore into bat, Sunrisers Hyderabad had done well to get Gayle out early. But then, there was Man of the Match AB de Villiers (82 from 42 balls). And there was skipper Virat Kohli (75 from 51 balls). With this, RCB came up with a handsome 227 for four in 20 overs. In reply, SRH managed 182 for six and thus lost by 45 runs.
Hyderabad began their chase in stunning fashion as their skipper David Warner (58 off 25 balls) took the rival attack to task. Their run rate was pretty close to what was required. The Australian seemed to lay a good foundation for his team’s chase after Shikhar Dhawan got out early. RCB’s new sign-up Shane Watson was brought into the attack and he sent his countryman back. Subsequently, with wickets falling at regular intervals, there was never going to be a realistic chance.
It was not just about the win but the way in which they won. Kohli began to give good support initially before South African De Villiers took charge and flourished. RCB are known for their explosive batting line-up and expectation is always high. However, SRH boast a good attack and it was going to be a good contest. Sadly, their mainstay Ashish Nehra left the ground with an injury.
AB was in murderous mood and that got things going. He did most of the hitting in the initial overs and that brought the crowd to their feet. It was never going to be a complete evening for the Bengaluru crowd if there wasn’t an explosive display of batting from Kohli. He is a man in form as was seen in the World T20. He scored well in almost every match in India’s campaign. Surely, a man with that fine run had to fire.
And soon, there it was. Kohli treated the attack with absolute disdain. His knowledge of the ground may have helped. It was simply one big blow after the other from the RCB captain. The scintillating 157-run (87 balls) second-wicket partnership between De Villiers and Kohli was finally broken when the latter was bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. De Villiers was caught by Eoin Morgan off the IPL debutant from Bangladesh, Mustafizur Rahman.
It was not over with the two back in the pavilion. Watson (19 runs) provided a bit of entertainment with three sixes in an over from Karn Sharma. Some unusual hitting from Sarfaraz Khan saw him contribute 35 not out to the RCB total off just 10 deliveries.
Warner later said: “De Villiers and Kohli were fantastic and Sarfaraz was crucial. We did not execute our plans as well as we would have liked.”
Brief scores: RCB 227/4 in 20 ovs (V Kohli 75, De Villiers 82, Sarfaraz Khan 35 no, Bhuvneshwar 2/55, Mustafizur 2/26) bt SRH 182/6 in 20 ovs (D Warner 58, Ashish Reddy 32, Watson 2/30, Chahal 2/43).