Bengaluru: Captain Virat Kohli smashed his second century of the season in a magnificent batting display to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore to a thrilling seven-wicket win over Rising Pune Supergiants in an IPL match on Saturday.
Kohli struck an unbeaten 108 off just 58 balls with the help of eight fours and seven sixes in a display of batting pyrotechnics at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here as Bangalore chased down the challenging target of 192 with three balls to spare to notch up their third win in eight matches.
The RCB skipper entered into record books as he became the only batsman to score two tons in a single IPL season. He also joined the likes of Brendon McCullum, Shane Watson, David Warner, AB de Villiers, Adam Gilchrist and Virender Sehwag to hit two IPL centuries overall. The most number of IPL tons — five — though still belongs to Chris Gayle.
Kohli's ton also overshadowed an amazing late assault of 13-ball 36 that included five fours and two sixes by Shane Watson which suddenly tilted the balance of the match in favour of Bangalore after it was poised evenly a couple of overs after the halfway stage.
Bangalore took 39 runs off two overs — 20 from 14th over bowled by Thisara Perera and 19 from the 15th bowled by Rajat Bhatia. Watson smashed a hapless Perera for five fours in a scintillating show of strokemaking. He then hit Bhatia for two sixes as the bowler bled 19 runs.
Kohli then took over as he smashed two sixes and a four off Adam Zampa in the 18th over and two sixes off RP Singh in the 19th over to steal 18 runs from each of the two overs. He hit Ashok Dinda for a four to finish off the match, as Bangalore reached 195 for three in 19.3 overs.
The match also witnessed Pune captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni introducing off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin only in the 17th over and he was not used after that.
Bangalore, however, made a sedate start in their run chase but soon found the boundaries with Kohli hitting two sixes off RP Singh in the fourth over to set the tempo.
By the end of powerplay overs, Bangalore were placed at a decent 46 for no loss with both Kohli and Lokesh Rahul (38) going strong. Runs keep on coming with Kohli and Rahul getting the boundaries and the home side reached 81 for no loss at the halfway mark.
Brief scores: Rising Pune Supergiants 191 for 6 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 74, Saurabh Tiwary 52, Shane Watson 3/24) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 195 for three in 19.3 overs (Virat Kohli 108 not out; Adam Zampa 2/35).