The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) secured a dominating win and two crucial points after a remarkable chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Thursday at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
The Virat Kohli chase masterclass and his scintillating century overshadowed Heinrich Klaasen’s ton in a gripping run-fest.
Chasing 187 to win, RCB got off to a flying start courtesy of in-form openers – Virat Kohli and Captain Faf du Plessis. Opener Virat Kohli hit from the word go and was off the mark with two timely strokes before Faf du Plessis jumped on the bandwagon.
The fifty partnership was up yet again in the tournament for RCB’s opening duo and the visitors moved to 64/0 after 6 overs. SRH nearly put an end to the opening partnership after Mayank Dagar took a sensational catch however on a delivery that unfortunately turned out to be a no ball, adding to SRH’s worries.
The duo looked unstoppable with the bat as both du Plessis and Kohli reached their respective half-centuries and RCB were cruising at 108/0 with 8 overs to go.
Virat Kohli was at his sublime best and left everyone in awe as the 150-run partnership was up for the opening wicket.
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The equation was down to 23 off 18 for the visitors as SRH kept searching for the opening wicket. Virat Kohli smashed a maximum off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s bowling to reach his first century of the season in style.
SRH bounced back to dismiss both the RCB openers in quick succession but it was too late for the home side as RCB chased down the target with four balls to spare.
Earlier, Sunrisers Hyderabad were put in to bat first by Royal Challengers Bangalore. The visitors kept things tight with the ball and restricted the striking as SRH were 7/0 after the first two overs. Rahul Tripathi and Abhishek Sharma finally got going but the SRH openers were soon back in the hut after Michael Bracewell dismissed the opening duo in the same over.
Heinrich Klaasen, who was the next man in for SRH, started aggressively with his beautiful backfoot strokes and the home side were 49/2 at the end of powerplay. SRH skipper Aiden Markram kept the runs ticking from one end while Klaasen took responsibility of majority of the striking.
The fifty partnership for the third wicket was up in just 29 deliveries and SRH were 81/2 after 10 overs. Klaasen continued his fine run of form and scored his third half-century of the season. Markram on the other end tried to switch gears but the SRH skipper was cleaned up by Shahbaz Ahmed in an attempt to play the reverse-sweep.
Harry Brook, who was the next batter in the middle, complemented the well-set Klaasen by finding boundaries immediately. The duo smacked 21 runs off the 17th over. Klaasen reached his Maiden IPL century with a stylish maximum straight down the ground. However, Harshal Patel cleaned the SRH batter with a perfect slower delivery.
Mohd. Siraj nailed the final over by giving away just 4 runs and scalping a wicket on the final ball of the innings as SRH finished with 186/5 on board.