Few things have been established in this world; like gravity pulls, light travels the fastest and Virat Kohli chases the best. The chasemeister was at it again and in the course of it, brought up his 2nd IPL century of the season and overall. For most part of the day, it looked the same story of RCB again giving up a match when they conceded 191 to Rising Pune Supergiants after winning the toss and putting them in.
Rising Pune Supergiants started well with Rahane and Usman Khawaja. Khawaja scored a brisk 16 off 6 balls before being run out, trying to give a flying start to his team.
Rahane kept scoring with ease as he has done all this season for yet another half century with Saurabh Tiwary at the other end also scored at a good pace for his 52. Rahane top scored yet again for Pune with 74 runs. Together they put on 106 runs in less than 12 overs to lay the perfect platform for the big hitters like Dhoni and Perera to follow and unleash themselves. They would have hoped for a score of more than 200 at one point but none of the new batsmen could get their eye in for a big one. RPS ended on a still mammoth 191 for 6 in 20 overs, setting RCB a difficult target of 192 runs.
For RCB, there was no Gayle today as well and the openers Virat Kohli and KL Rahul had additional pressure to accelerate from the 1st ball.
Pune started well with the new ball with Ashok Dinda and RP Singh sending out quiet overs. RCB did not lose early wickets but could not get a real move on as well. Kohli and Rahul started opening up from the 6th over onwards and reached at 94 for no loss in 11 overs just before Rahul fell for 38 runs off 35 balls, trying to hit leggie Adam Zampa over the sweeper cover. Rahul’s wicket was greeted with loud cheers at his home ground as the superman AB De Villiers was the next man in.
De Villiers had to be the man if Bangalore was to chase down this total but the Bangalore crowd was stunned to silence as De Villiers holed out to long off in the same over for just 1 run.
Kohli at the other end was coming up with much required boundaries but looked as if would just fall short at the end. A push was required and that came from the seasoned Shane Watson. Watson blazed away to 36 runs off a meagre 13 balls to pull the required rate back to manageable proportions. Kohli took it completely from there on. RCB needed 40 off the last 3 overs when Kohli launched in Adam Zampa for a couple of sixes and one boundary to get 18 runs off the 18th over to ease the equation a bit to 22 required off 12 balls. RP singh bowled the 19th over and Kohli launched him for 2 sixes off consecutive balls to get another 18 runs off the over and bring up his 2nd century of IPL 2016. The match was in Bangalore’s pocket now with just 4 required off the last over and Kohli batting on 102. RCB chants were all over the stadium as Virat hit the winning boundary off the 3rd ball of the 20th over.
Virat keeps on moving from a great player to an unbelievable chaser.
The win keeps RCB alive in the tournament and will certainly pep them up. They still need to work hard on their bowling though. Pune on the other hand are all but out of the reckoning with maybe still a mathematical possibility to qualify for the playoffs. But for that to happen, they would have to win all their remaining matches and hope for some other results to go their way as well.