Virat makes light of torn webbing, hits fourth ton of IPL 9

Kohli continued his sensational run with a fourth century of the season, scoring 113 against Kings XI Punjab despite a torn webbing stitched up

ipl Updated: May 19, 2016 10:01 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times
Virat Kohli,RCB,KXIP
Virat Kohli extended his amazing run, scoring his fourth century of the IPL season to help Royal Challengers Bangalore pile up the runs in the rain-hit game against Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday.(AFP)

Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle unleashed a no-holds barred pounding of the Kings XI Punjab bowlers. It was so savage that they would be forgiven for probably thanking the rain that ate into 10 overs of the match. This, however, was again Kohli’s day. Rewriting record books with a consistency never seen in modern-day cricket, Kohli reached his fourth century of the tournament and took RCB to an unthinkable 211 in 15 overs, all with seven stitches in his torn left-hand webbing.

Winning the toss and electing to chase has been the norm this IPL but doing that at the Chinnaswamy stadium, where RCB have two 200-plus totals batting first, was a risky decision by Kings XI Punjab captain, Murali Vijay. The first three overs, bowled by Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma, went for just 17, but it was the lull before the storm. The decimation was finally uncorked in the fourth over by Kyle Abbott, who went for 18 runs, including two sixes that went off Gayle’s bat over long-off and cover.

Spinner KC Cariappa was thrown in the mix to see how Gayle reacted to him. Out came Gayle’s slog across the line that had enough power to land just beyond the boundary. With a boundary behind point, Gayle then gave strike to Kohli who churned out a six over long-off to bring up another 18-run over. It set the tone for the match as even Axar Patel couldn’t plug the run flow.

Cariappa was then chosen for a mauling in the next over as Kohli milked him for 19 runs, including two sixes and a boundary. Every shot seemed to evade the fielders, giving KXIP no chance of making a comeback. Patel even started bowling negative and conceded three wides. The moment he bowled straighter, Gayle smoked him for two sixes to bring up his first half-century of the tournament.

Patel finally dismissed Gayle but not before the Jamaican had teased him with three brutal sixes. AB de Villiers didn’t fire but Punjab were clearly dreading the worst as Kohli was in no mood to concede any quarter. Launching into a six off Abbott, Kohli then laid into Mohit with three consecutive fours. Not only did Kohli pack a punch but his placements were also immaculate, like guiding Mohit between point and third man for a boundary.

A flick through deep midwicket in the next over finally fetched Kohli his fourth IPL century. Had it not been for the bat turning in his hand, Kohli could have gone on till the last ball. RCB however, couldn’t have asked for more from their captain.

First Published: May 19, 2016 00:15 IST