AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli both scored magnificent centuries as Royal Challengers Bangalore inflicted a crushing 144-run defeat on league leaders Gujarat Lions in Bengaluru on Saturday, recording the biggest ever victory in the history of Indian Premier League (IPL).
Batting first, RCB plundered a massive 248 for 3 courtesy De Villiers’ 129 not out and an equally attractive 108 by Kohli, with records tumbling like ninepins at the Chinnaswamy Stadium during the afternoon session.
Having been deflated in the first session itself, Gujarat Lions capitulated to a meagre 104 all out in 18.4 overs with Chris Jordan picking up 4/11 in 3 overs and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal getting 3/19 in 4 overs.
With 10 points from 11 games and a positive net run-rate of +0.627, RCB will fancy their chances of sneaking in as the third or fourth team into the play-offs by winning their remaining three games.
While this is the second-highest team score in the history of IPL behind RCB’s 263 for five against Pune Warriors, the Kohli-De Villiers combine eclipsed its own partnership record by pummeling the Lions to add a staggering 229 runs in just 16 overs.
The previous best was 215 against Mumbai Indians during the last edition. Kohli also became the first player in the history of IPL to score two centuries against the same opponents in one edition of the league.
De Villiers smashed a scintillating unbeaten 129 off 52 balls with 10 fours and 12 maximums while Kohli, en route his third hundred in a single edition of IPL, hit a brilliant 109 off 55 balls with the help of five fours and eight sixes.
De Villiers, whose 43-ball century was the fifth fastest in IPL, teed off to get the maximum number of sixes in an innings by any individual batsman.
In all, the duo hit an astounding 20 sixes compared to 15 fours as the square boundary of the Chinnaswamy turf looked too small at times.
The start was not great for RCB as an out-of-touch Chris Gayle (6) played on to a Dhawal Kulkarni delivery.
The RCB captain was cautious to begin with and it was De Villiers who was first to get off the blocks with a flurry of sixes. The first was a cover driven six off chinaman bowler Shivil Kaushik (3/50 in 3 overs).
In the next over, he slogged Pravin Tambe behind square for another huge blow. Kulkarni’s friendly medium pace was imperiously pulled for a six. When de Villiers completed his hundred, Kohli was still in his 50s, but he increased the pace at the rear end of the innings.
A flurry of sixes off Kaushik, Dwayne Bravo (0/46 in 3 overs) and Praveen Kumar (2/45 in 4 overs) saw Kohli reaching the coveted hat-trick of tons in the final over of the innings and the fate of the match looked all but sealed.