RCB skipper Virat Kohli leads from the front with 63-ball 80 as Bangalore beat MS Dhoni’s Rising Pune Supergiants by 13 runs
It was a batting feast at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Friday.
First it was AB de Villiers (83) and Virat Kohli (80) that helped Royal Challengers Bangalore post 185-3 in their 20 overs. Then Ajinkya Rahane’s 60 and MS Dhoni’s 41 made the contest interesting for Rising Pune Supergiants, who played their first home match of the Indian Premier League-9.
A late surge from Thisara Perera (13-ball 34) and Rajat Bhatia (11-ball 21) was not enough to see the Pune team through as the hosts slumped to a 13-run defeat.
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli (3rd R) celebrates with teammates after Rising Pune Supergiants batsman Steven Smith was run out during the 2016 Indian Premier League match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiants at The MCA International Cricket Stadium in Pune on Friday. Pic/AFP
Pune suffered a couple of major blows at the start of their chase with Faf du Plessis dismissed for two and Kevin Pietersen (0) retired hurt after twisting his ankle while taking a run. However, skipper MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane 91-run third wicket partnership almost looked like taking the game away from RCB.
South Africa’s chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi, who replaced injured Samuel Badree, impressed with figures of 4-0-36-1 on his RCB debut, claiming the big wicket of Rahane, who was done in by a sliding delivery that went past his wild swing only to be stumped.
Dhoni’s departure in the next over was a big moment in the match which tilted in RCB’s favour. Dhoni hit medium-pacer Harshal Patel as hard and flat he could, but a brilliant, running catch by de Villiers at the long off boundary brought about the Pune skipper’s dismissal.
Earlier, put into bat, Bangalore got off a slow start, losing opener KL Rahul (7) in the fourth over to put a breaks on the scoring.
But his opening partner Kohli and de Villiers kept the scoreboard ticking, sneaking in with ones, twos to post 48-1 after completion of the powerplay.
Soon after the powerplay, the in-form duo unleashed their pyrotechnics to smash boundaries and sixes at regular intervals without losing any wickets to take team to 97-1 in 11 overs that set up the stage for yet another big score.
Kohli and de Villiers made it look simple as the Indian and South African pair brought up their 100-run partnership for the second wicket in just 69 balls and helped their team reach 128-1 in 15 overs.
Kohli got a life in the 16th over while batting on 49. The duo put on 155-run partnership for the second wicket to take team to a competitive total, before Kohli and De Villiers were dismissed in successive balls in 20th over.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 185 for three in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 83, Virat Kohli 80; Thisarra Perera 34/3).
Rising Pune Supergiants: 171 for eight in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 60, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 41; Kane Richardson 3/13).
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