Chasing a formidable 162 for victory, Royal Challengers got there with 14 balls to spare thanks to Kohli’s blitz. The Bangalore captain and hearthrob gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about as he smashed 11 fours and four maximums in his knock unbeaten 93, which is his highest score in the IPL.
Earlier, Hanuma Vihari opened the bowling for Sunrisers again; the 19-year-old had got Chris Gayle for a duck in the first leg last week. However, Mayank Agarwal took strike first and spanked the youngster for a six and four.
Gayle, meanwhile, took strike against Dale Steyn in the second over. Steyn’s first bowler was a zooming, swinging full-length delivery that was merely guided to the cover boundary for four, using the pace of the bowler.
Agarwal, meanwhile, was clearly enjoying himself. Vihari was immediately removed from the attack as Ishant Sharma was brought on. He gave Ishant due respect for an over, before whipping the India pacer over fine-leg for six and then sweetly driving him to the deep point boundary. Agarwal tried to welcome Thisara Perera into the attack in the sixth over with a pull over the mid-wicket fence, but could only find the top edge that was gulped down by Kumar Sangakkara.
The Bangalore crowd was to be silenced further as Ishant Sharma netted the big fish, the whopper — Gayle — in the next over. Once again, it was up to Kohli to take charge, and take charge he did!
Joined in the middle by fellow swashbuckler AB de Villiers, Kohli stepped on the pedal and never took his foot off it till the end. He shared a 49-run stand with de Villiers (15) before the latter holed out to Vihari at deep mid-wicket.
Bangalore were 96 for three in 12 overs at this stage with another 66 to win off 48 balls. RCB did not lose any more wickets and Moises Henriques, in at No 5, scored only seven of the 66 runs as Kohli went on to bludgeon the Hyderabad attack all around the park and got RCB home in the 18th over itself.
It was sweet revenge for RCB, who were defeated in the Super Over by the Sunrisers not too long ago. The win also got them to second in the point’s table, above Hyderabad who slipped to third. Rajasthan Royals still sit on top with a higher net run-rate.
Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 161 for 6 in 20 overs (Cameron White 52, Thisara Perera 40; RP Singh 3 for 27) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 162 for 3 in 17.4 overs (Virat Kohli 93*, Mayank Agarwal 29; Ishant Sharma 1 for 30) by 7 wickets.