Bang! Bang! Bang! This was the picture at Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore today as Royal Challengers took on Gujarat Lions in a do or die match. The toss was won by the Lions and they had decided to bowl first.
This was the first match that was missed by Suresh Raina in his IPL career and so Brendon McCullum was named as the captain for the lions. Gujarat did start well taking the wicket of Chris Gayle early in the match and RCB were straight under pressure. Captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers now had to play a strong and sensible innings in order to reach a good score. RCB were 76 for 1 at the end of 10 overs. Bangalore was in a stable position and 160 was on the cards now. But Virat and AB had planned something humongous.
Every ball then was treated like a free hit and it was smashed out of the park. AB de Villiers scored a destructive 129 in just 52 balls featuring 10 4’s and 12 6’s at an outstanding strike rate of 248.08. The crowd was chanting “ABD ABD” and the only thing now missing was Virat joining the big party. Kohli did start his innings well giving the strike to de Villiers whenever possible, but later he did join the big club. Virat started to talk in boundaries and he smashed 109 in 55 balls featuring 5 4’s and 8 6’s at a brilliant strike rate of 198.18. Both these batsmen had no mercy on Gujarat Lions bowlers and every ball was sailed towards the boundary. RCB ended their innings at 248 with the loss of 3 wickets. 248 is second highest team total in IPL. The 229-run stand between Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers is the highest ever stand in T20s. AB de Villiers recorded the fifth fastest century in the history of IPL. AB, with 12 sixes, has hit the most number of sixes in an innings this season and Virat Kohli is now the only player to score three hundreds in a season.
It was game over for Lions but with McCullum, Finch, Bravo and Smith in your side you can expect some magic. But fortune had smiled on RCB today and the bowling unit too did a fantastic job for the challengers and they defeated Gujarat Lions by 144 runs in which 7 wickets were shared between Jordan and Chahal.
With this win RCB keep their hopes alive for the top 4 and it is certain that the upcoming matches too will be as entertaining as this one.
(Image source= Cricbuzz.com)