De Kock's 48-ball ton helps Daredevils prevail

Delhi Daredevils 192 for 3 (De Kock 108, Nair 54*) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 181 for 5 (Kohli 79, De Villiers 55, Shami 2-34) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Quinton de Kock struck 15 fours and three sixes in his 51-ball 108 © BCCI

It was a run-fest of the highest quality. Virat Kohli, a machine going by his current form, unfailingly delivered again. His 48-ball 79 powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to 191 for 5, with AB de Villiers and Shane Watson chipping in 55 and 33. But all three batting efforts were put to shade by Quinton de Kock, who made a bruising 51-ball 108, which also happened to be the first hundred in IPL 2016, to power Delhi Daredevils to a seven-wicket win at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

While De Kock starred in the lead role, Karun Nair (54 not out), who hails from Bangalore, played the role of support cast in a 134-run third-wicket stand that came at a strike rate of close to 180 to flatten Royal Challengers. Interestingly, it was Daredevils’ first win over Royal Challengers since 2010.

Zaheer Khan, the Daredevils captain, was clear that the Kohli factor influenced his decision to bowl first. What he didn’t account for was a Chinnaswamy deck which looked biscuit brown was ripe for a run-fest. On his part, Kohli showed he can be equally dangerous when setting targets. The ground work was laid during the course of his second-wicket stand of 107 with de Villiers before Daredevils hit back with a tremendous exhibition of death bowling courtesy the returning Mohammed Shami and Chris Morris, who conceded just 27 off the last four overs to take momentum into the chase.

Daredevils were dealt an early blow when Shreyas Iyer was brilliantly dismissed by the Shane Watson and David Wiese, whose tag-team effort resulted in a stunning catch at long-on in the first over. But the early loss had little effect on de Kock as he pierced a packed off side field for three boundaries off Parvez Rasool, the offspinner, to get the chase back on.

De Kock’s sparkling form helped Daredevils ride a trough when Sanju Samson struggled to play hit shots, but his dismissal in the sixth over turned their fortunes for the better as Nair got stuck in against Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel and David Wiese, who conceded 78 off their seven overs at one stage. The effects of their predictability put immense pressure on Watson to deliver with the ball as the equation came down to 56 off the last six overs.

By then, Nair was in his elements. Not a shot was played in desperation or anger; his sparkling form taking the pressure off a tiring de Kock, who brought up his century off just 48 balls courtesy 13 fours and three sixes. Once into the home stretch, there was a sense of inevitability to the game. While De Kock walked off to a round of applause from Watson, who had him caught behind, with Daredevils needing eight, Duminy struck the winning runs when Chahal’s underarm flick missed the stumps as Daredevils razed down the target in style.

Gayle’s dismissal in the first over to Zaheer silenced the crowd, but De Villiers and Kohli, who were least affected by the early loss, simply carried on from where they left off in the opening game to put the innings into overdrive. As many as ten fours and a six flew in the first six overs as Royal Challengers moved on to 63 for 1.

The spinners – Pawan Negi and Amit Mishra – fared only marginally better on the face of the De Villiers-Kohli onslaught to leave a sense of inevitability in the Daredevils ranks halfway through the innings. It needed the World T20 hero Carlos Brathwaite to dismiss De Villiers in his first over to rejuvenate Daredevils. But within the bat on an eyelid, they were under Watson’s wheel.

Just as one wondered if the quality of strokes could get any better, Kohli unfurled the whirls of his wrists to send a Zaheer delivery soaring over deepmidwicket; his final over going for 21 as Royal Challengers set themselves up for a second-successive 200 plus score, before the wicket of Watson and Sarfaraz Khan, accounted for by Shami’s athleticism, in the space of three deliveries set them back and denied the flourish they were looking for.

That was perhaps the difference in the end as Royal Challengers embarked on their two-week away schedule knowing well that their bowling attack needed a lift.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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