Kohli, de Villiers flex batting muscle in easy RCB win

Royal Challengers Bangalore 227 for 4 (De Villiers 82, Kohli 75, Sarfaraz 35*) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 182 for 6 (Warner 58, Reddy 32, Watson 2-20, Chahal 2-43) by 45 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

AB de Villiers hit seven fours and six sixes in his 42-ball 82 © BCCI

The sleeping giant that was IPL 2016 sprung to life in a high scoring clash. Royal Challengers Bangalore blasted the first 200-plus score of the tournament in an emphatic 45-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. In doing so, they also bucked the season’s early trend of chasing teams prevailing.

AB de Villiers (82) and Virat Kohli (75) provided a visual treat courtesy a fine cocktail of fineness and brute force in a 157-run second-wicket stand, before Shane Watson announced himself by muscling three successive sixes. The final flourish was lent by Sarfaraz Khan, who in his typically unorthodox fashion, paddled and reverse-paddled his way to an unbeaten 10-ball 35 as Royal Challengers finished with 227 for 4.

Deflated and dejected, Sunrisers went for broke, wiping out 83 for the loss of Shikhar Dhawan in eight overs. David Warner, who returned to open after a brief flirtation in the middle order with Australia at the World T20, showed why he’s one of the most-feared white ball strikers, muscling three sixes and five fours in a 21-ball half-century before falling into the short-ball trap laid by Watson.

But the pressure of the required rate got to them. The chase went cold as Sunrisers lost Warner, Naman Ojha, Henriques and Deepak Hooda in the space of 17 deliveries; they eventually finished with 182 for 6, with Eoin Morgan and Karn Sharma finishing 22 and 26 not out respectively. Parvez Rasool was the pick of the lot, returning 1 for 31 in a crafty spell of offspin bowling, even as Watson and Yuzvendra Chahal, the legspiner, chipped away with two wickets.

Chris Gayle’s dismissal for 1 in the second over of the match to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, when the ball brushed the thigh pad and deflected onto the leg stump, was a rare moment to cheer for a listless bowling attack that was further depleted when Ashish Nehra, their pace spearhead, hobbled off the field halfway through their bowling stint after just 2.1 overs. That resulted in a batting feast for two men in a murderous mood as Royal Challengers blasted 139 off the back ten.

The only semblance of respect from Kohli and de Villiers came early on when Mustafizur Rahman, making his IPL debut, troubled them with his cutters. Once the job of seeing off his initial burst – a two-over spell – was done, they treated for the batting connoisseurs. Sarfaraz’s unbeaten 44-run stand off just 15 deliveries with Kedar Jadhav ensured Royal Challengers had momentum firmly by their side at the break.

Dhawan’s early wicket to Rasool came as an early setback for Sunrisers, but Warner’s muscle kept them in the hunt as Kohli rang in the changes in a bid to pull things back. Milne’s second spell, in which he had Henriques mistime a pull to midwicket, opened the game up. Once Royal Challengers had one foot in the door, it was a simple matter of forcing it open, which they did quite easily. In the end, Ashish Reddy’s big-hitting ability was merely a footnote for Sunrisers in what was otherwise a forgettable outing.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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