Virat Kohli slams second fifty of IPL 2017 against Gujarat Lions | ipl 2017 | Hindustan Times
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Virat Kohli slams second fifty of IPL 2017 against Gujarat Lions

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli led from the front, hitting the second half-century of IPL 2017 and raising a century partnership for the opening wicket with Chris Gayle against Gujarat Lions at Rajkot.

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 18, 2017 21:42 IST
HT Correspondent
Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli (right) and Chris Gayle hit half-centuries and raised a century partnership to power IPL 2016 runners-up against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot on Tuesday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli (right) and Chris Gayle hit half-centuries and raised a century partnership to power IPL 2016 runners-up against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot on Tuesday.(AFP)

Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli slammed his second half-century of 2017 IPL, reaching the landmark off 43 balls against Gujarat Lions at the SCA Stadium on Tuesday.(RCB vs GL: scorecard)

Virat Kohli struck seven fours and a six to reach 64 off 50 deliveries before he was out, caught in the deep.

Put into bat, Royal Challengers Bangalore finally got the start they have been searching for with both Virat Kohli and fellow opener Chris Gayle (77, 38 balls) raising a 122-run partnership. The partnership ended when the Jamaican batsman was adjudged leg before to Gujarat Lions pacer Basil Thampi.

Read | AB de Villiers out, Chris Gayle in for Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Lions IPL T20

Chris Gayle slammed his first half-century of IPL 10 against Gujarat Lions. It was his first half-century after 18 T20 innings. Gayle brought up his half-century in 23 balls, and hit five boundaries and seven sixes. He reached his fifty with a huge six over long on off left-arm spinner Shivil Kaushik.

Gayle made a comeback into the playing XI after RCB batsman AB de Villiers and leg spinner Samuel Badree pulled out due to injury.

Read | Chris Gayle reaches historic milestone, becomes first to score 10,000 T20 runs

Kohli looked the one who was willing to take more risk initially. He started briskly before taking the attack on Gujarat Lions pace bowler Dhawal Kulkarni, hitting him for three consecutive boundaries in the third over.

Gayle’s initial approach looked like he wanted to get the monkey off his back with just three runs needed to become the first player in T20 cricket to aggregate 10,000 runs in Twenty20 games. Once he achieved the feat with a single to third man, Gayle freed up a bit as he slammed one to mid-off for the match’s first six.

One over each from Gujarat Lions fast bowler Andrew Tye (three runs) and Ravindra Jadeja (nine runs) managed to keep Royal Challengers Bangalore to 45/0 in the Powerplay overs.

Gayle, however, looked in destructive mood when Jadeja came for his second over. The big-hitting West Indies batsman cracked two consecutive boundaries and sixes to take 21 runs off it.

Jadeja could have had the last laugh had Gujarat Lions’ Brendon McCullum’s hat not touched the rope while taking an acrobatic, single-handed catch at long off.

As Gayle went after the bowling, Kohli took on the role of an anchor the innings. Kohli took charge once Gayle was dismissed. Kohli was caught in the deep by Dwayne Smith off Dhawal Kulkarni in the 16th over.