Hyderabad: Virat Kohli’s late blitz of 44 runs from 19 balls and Chris Gayle’s cameo helped Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in a rain-curtailed Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Friday.
Gayle smashed a 10 ball 35 and helped his side climb to second spot on the league table with 15 points from 13 games, while the Sunrisers drop to the fifth spot with 14 points from 13 matches.
Chasing a revised target of 81 runs from six over, the Challengers got over the line with a ball to spare and with six wickets in hand.
It was a tailor-made situation for the hefty Jamaican who relishes such challenges as he plundered 41 in the first two overs with Dale Steyn giving away 17 and Bhuvneshwar Kumar being belted for 24 runs.
However, it was all-rounder Moises Henriques for SRH who got the hosts back into the contest as Gayle pulled one of his slower deliveries into the hands of the man at deep mid-wicket. South African skipper followed AB de Villiers fell off the very next delivery after lofting one to long on. The over produced just three as the visitors were reduced to 44/2 after three overs.
But it was Kohli who swung the pendulum in favour of RCB again belting Karn Sharma for 14 and then getting 10 of a Praveen Kumar over.
Needing 13 of the last over, it was Kohli who hit the winning runs lofting Bhuvneshwar for a straight six.
Earlier in the day, even though the hosts lost swashbuckling opener Shikhar Dhawan (8) early, David Warner and Moises Henriques kept on the pressure on the RCB bowlers clubbing them to the ropes frequently.
Yuzvendra Chahal was hit for 17 in the 5th over which brought up the team’s 50.
The next over from pacer Ashok Dinda yielded 18 runs as some wayward bowling helped Henriques put the leather into the stands.
Henriques went berserk against Harshal Patel, after being dropped in the opening delivery of the seventh over. 20 runs came off the over.
SRH reached the triple figure mark with three overs to spare as Warner kept playing second fiddle and giving the strike to his partner at the end who was having a gala time in the middle.
But Henriques soon fell after completing his half-century edging one to the wicket-keeper.
RCB pulled things back in the last few over but by then the damage had been done.