IPL 2016: Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Rising Pune Supergiants by 7 wickets, Stars and Flops

There are good cricketers and then there are men who redefine the game. Virat Kohli belongs to the second category and his mental strength remains a mystery. It will be easier for us to term it phenomenal.

192 was the target. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were pathetic on the field, dropping three catches and missed one stumping opportunity. Their bowling once again let them down as Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) posted a huge total ensuring that their opponents had to chase almost at 10 an over. Chris Gayle was not playing and if one man could be the difference between their triumph and defeat, it would be their skipper, Kohli. READ MORE: IPL 2016, Match 36, Pick of the tweets: Kings XI Punjab vs Delhi Daredevils at Mohali

In yet another mind-boggling run chase, Kohli stood far above others as he scripted a memorable win for RCB. In process, he brought up his second Twenty20 (T20) hundred and remained unbeaten on 108 from just 58 balls. Playing textbook cricket and calculating the chase, Kohli’s outing was near flawless. He was ably supported by K L Rahul, who added 94 for the first wicket with Kohli. The watchful start reaped dividends later. Kohli in the process went past Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli became the first captain to score more than 500 runs in IPL in three different seasons. ALSO READ: Virat Kohli’s sensational hundred helps RCB triumph over RPS: Twitter Reaction from Cricket Fraternity

Turning Point: While Kohli held the fort at one end, RCB were in a spot of bother when AB de Villiers went for a mindless shot and lost his wicket in the 12th over. There was hardly any time for rebuilding when Shane Watson walked out to bat. RCB needed 89 from seven overs when Watson unleashed himself on Thisara Perera. The former Australian all-rounder smashed five boundaries in the over. Watson’s 36 from 13 gave the RCB’s chase the much-needed boost.

87 (3)

The chase was further helped by Dhoni’s stubborn approach as a leader. It was only after 16 overs, he recalled that he had a world class spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin in his bowling ranks. When RCB needed 47 from four overs, Ashwin was thrown at the lion’s den and he came back unscathed, giving only seven from it. That was it and he did not bowl again.

Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane’s 48-ball 74 put RPS in a commanding position. He was well supported by Saurabh Tiwary, who rode on his luck and added 106 for the second wicket with Rahane. Unfortunately, their efforts were not enough. Until there is a mathematical miracle, RPS do not have a chance to qualify for the play-offs. If that happens, it will be the first time that a MS Dhoni-led side would not have made it to the final four stage.

Brief Scores:

Rising Pune Supergiants 191 for 6 in 20 overs [Ajinkya Rahane 74 (48), Saurabh Tiwary 52 (39); Shane Watson 4-0-24-3] lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 195 for 3 in 19.3 overs [Virat Kohli 108 (58)*, K L Rahul 38 (35), Shane Watson 36 (13)] by 7 wickets.