Bengaluru: Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers shared a breathtaking 157-run stand off 87 balls as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) secured a comfortable 45-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Kohli (75 off 51) and de Villiers (82 off 42), arguably the top two batsmen in the world, set the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on fire to take RCB to 227 for four. The bowlers defended the steep total comfortably on a batting beauty despite a blazing knock from Sunrisers captain David Warner (58 off 25), limiting the opposition to 182 for six in 20 overs.
No total can be called be safe on the batting beauty in Bengaluru and with Sunrisers reaching from 83 for one in eight overs, the game was very much alive. Warner was in his full elements after the departure of his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan (8), who was bowled by Parvez Rasool.
The off-spinner produced one just turned away enough to hit Dhawan's off stump and strike on the very ball of his spell.
Warner went about his business with little fuss and completed his 50 off 21 balls with a huge straight six off spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
He hit five sixes in his entertaining innings which ended with a mistimed pull off fellow Australian and recently retired Shane Watson. Seeing the back of Warner was crucial for RCB and soon after his prized wicket, they took three quick wickets to
reduce Sunrisers to 101 for five in the 12th over.
Needing almost three runs a ball at one stage, Eoin Morgan (22 not out) and Ashish Reddy (32 off 18) tried their best but
Earlier, Kohli and de Villiers tore apart the opposition attack with a scintillating stand after the early fall of opener Chris Gayle.
Kohli carried on from where he left off in the ICC World T20 as de Villiers performed his demolition act from the other end. Both of them batting together was a sheer treat for a noisy crowd gathered at the ground.
While Kohli, who opened with Gayle, enthralled the fans with proper cricketing stokes, the South African gave a masterclass in clean hitting. There was little what Sunrisers skipper Warner could do to contain the two champion batsmen after he put the
home team in to bat on a belter of a pitch.
The extent of hitting was such that even a usually economical Ashish Nehra felt the heat on a ground that has seen most sixes in the IPL. The pacer limped off the field after bowling just 2.1 overs in which he conceded 21 runs, leaving his troubled team short of options.
Kohli's classy innings comprised seven fours and three sixes. De Villiers cleared the fence more often than the Indian but together they made their stay seem like a highlights package as it rained sixes and fours through out the innings.
De Villiers slammed six huge sixes in his whirlwind knock to add to his seven fours. Watson walked in after Kohli departed and here he was, clobbering leggie Karn Sharma for three consecutive sixes before being caught behind.
Then it was the turn of young Sarfaraz Khan to have some fun in the middle. He hammered Bhuvneshwar Kumar for four
boundaries and a six in the 19th over to pile on the opposition misery. Khan combined innovation with brute force to end with 35 off 10 balls.
Sharma had a forgettable outing in his first match of the season as he went for 57 runs in four overs. Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman was the lone positive with the ball for Sunrisers as he ended with figures of two for 26 in four overs on his IPL debut.