A brilliant unbeaten century from Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli was the key to his side’s seven-wicket victory over the Rising Pune Supergiants on Saturday.
Kohli’s 108 not out off 58 balls included seven sixes, allowing the Challengers to reach the target of 192 with three balls to spare. Pune had made 191 for six.
Bangalore won the toss and opted to field, which seemed a good plan when they removed opener Usman Khawaja for 16 – until they had to endure a century stand between Ajinkya Rahane and Saurabh Tiwary.
The pair took the score from 26 to 132 in the span of 12 overs before Tiwary was out for 52, stumped by KL Raul off Yuzvindra Chahal. MS Dhoni followed soon afterwards, having made just nine.
Rahane, who has been nearly alone in his run scoring all tournament for Pune, continued on to make 74 off 48 balls before being bowled by Shane Watson. The Australian ended with three wickets for just 24 runs in his four overs.
The chase saw RCB put on 94 for the first wicket, as Kohli and Rahul batted fluently for the first 11 overs. Kohli was by far the more aggressive batsman, and Rahul was out for 38 to Adam Zampa to break the stand.
AB de Villiers was out for just one run, also to Zampa, leaving Watson and Kohli to advance the score. They took it to 143 in the 16th over, when Watson was out for 36 off just 13 balls.
It was all up to Kohli despite the hiccup, and he powered through the last few runs to avoid a tense finish, and got the winning runs with a four flicked off his hips.