Virat Kohli’s excellent century (100 off 63) and Faf du Plessis’ fine fifty (71 off 47) outclassed Heinrich Klaasen’s hundred and led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a thumping eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Match No. 65 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, here on Thursday.
With this win, RCB jumped to the fourth position in the table having 14 points in 13 matches and boosted their Playoff chances. On the other hand, SRH remained at the bottom of the table with just four wins in 13 games.
South African wicket-keeper batter Klaasen’s maiden IPL century (104 off 51) propelled Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to 186/5 in 20 overs. After Klaasen, Harry Brook (27 off 19) was the second-best scorer for SRH. Both Klaasen and Brook stitched a quickfire stand of 74 runs for the fourth wicket. On the other hand, Michael Bracewell was the most successful bowler for RCB with his superb 2-13.
Chasing 187 to win, openers Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis gave RCB a flying start, scoring 64/0 after 6 overs. It was Kohli, who started the show for RCB, hitting four boundaries in the first two overs bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Abhishek Sharma.
Natarajan bowled a decent over to concede just 7 runs. However, both Du Plessis and Kohli went after Kartik Tyagi, hammering the young pacer for four boundaries in an over. During the process, Faf miscued his shot but Glenn Philips couldn’t get a hold of the ball.
Both Kohli and Faf pierced the gaps with surgical precision and kept on picking boundaries at their will as RCB were moving strongly in the run chase. With runs flowing from both ends, SRH skipper Markram was forced to make frequent bowling changes. Against debutant Nitish Kumar, spinner Mayank Dagar, openers were a bit cautious but they kept the score-board ticking to take RCB to 95/0 after 10 overs.
Philips came to bowl the 12th over and both Kohli and Faf completed their respective fifties in that over and RCB were cruising towards the title. It seemed like RCB brought their clinical best to the business end of the tournament courtesy Kohli and Du Plessis, who continued their batting carnage as the chasing team were 150/0 after 15 overs.