New Delhi: Virat Kohli scored a breezy half century to help Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) eke out a narrow three-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils (DD) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Tuesday.
Kohli was in a murderous mood as he made a crucial 56 and hit as many as eight boundaries and two sixes during his 38-ball stay at the crease.
Apart from Kohli, last match centurion Chris Gayle (26 off 14) played a good hand up the order while captain Daniel Vettori (18 not out), Saurabh Tiwary (18) and Syed Mohammad (13 not out) made useful contributions towards the end to see Bangalore overwhelm the 161-run target with three balls to spare.
Morne Morkel starred with the ball for Daredevils with figures of three for 25.
Earlier sent into bat, James Hopes scored a valuable half-century to enable Daredevils post a challenging 160 for six at the Feroze Shah Kotla ground.
Hopes made vital 54 runs off 43 balls during which he hit seven fours to steer the Delhi innings after captain Virender Sehwag (25 off 18) and David Warner (7) fell early.
Y. Venugopal Rao (24 off 21), Naman Ojha (16) and Irfan Pathan (13 not out) also made useful contributions with the bat to guide Delhi to a decent score.
Young right-arm pacer Abhimanyu Mithun was the pick of the bowlers for the Bangalore outfit with figures of two for 37 while Zaheer Khan (1/27), Sreenath Arvind (1/30) and skipper Daniel Vettori (1/25) scalped wicket apiece.
The start to Bangalore’s run chase was far from rosy as they lost Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second ball of the innings when he top-edged one to wicket-keeper Naman Ojha off Ashok Dinda.
But new man in Virat Kohli seemed in ominous form as he opened his scoring with back-to-back fours off Dinda.
Irfan Pathan then had to face the brunt of Kohli as he struck the left-arm pacer for as many as four boundaries in the next over to give impetus to Bangalore innings.
Last match centurion Chris Gayle joined the party soon, clobbering Morne Morkel for a four and six and the hit Dinda for two fours to bring up Bangalore’s fifty in the fifth over.
The duo raised 82 runs off just 43 deliveries before Gayle was caught at the deep square leg boundary by Venugopal Rao off Hopes to draw curtains on the dangerous looking second wicket partnership.
Then two quick in a span of three balls turned the match upside down as Delhi gained the upper hand with Bangalore tottering at 96 for four in 9.1 overs.