Sharjah, Oct 12 (IANS) Riding on a record century partnership between captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday thrashed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 82 runs and rose to become the joint No. 1 team on the points table.
Although RCB have 10 points, the same as Mumbai Indians (+1.327) and Delhi Capitals (+1.038), Kohli’s team is placed third on net run rate (-0.116).
Now, all eight teams have played seven matches each — the halfway stage of the league phase of the 13th edition of IPL.
On winning the toss, RCB first posted 194/2 in 20 overs, thanks to a scintillating unbeaten 73 off 33 balls from de Villiers, Aaron Finch’s 47 off 37 balls, and Kohli’s 33 not out off 28 balls. They then restricted KKR to 112/9 in 20 overs to complete a one-sided win at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Only three KKR batsmen entered double figures, with the highest scorer being Shubman Gill with 34 (25 balls, 3×4, 1×6), before he was run out. Andre Russell and Rahul Tripathi were the others who reached double-digit scores.
Pacer Chris Morris of South Africa and off-spinner Washington Sundar bagged two wickets each while four other bowlers captured one wicket each.
Earlier, RCB openers Finch and Devdutt Padikkal (32) gave their team a blazing start by adding 67 in 7.4 overs.
de Villiers and Kohli then became the first pair in the IPL to share 10 century partnerships, adding 100 runs off 47 balls. de Villiers hit six sixes and five fours as he set the stadium alight. He was well-supported by Kohli.
KKR picked batsman Tom Banton, who made his IPL debut, having replaced Sunil Narine, who was reported for suspect action during the last match against Kings XI Punjab.
Brief scores: RCB: 194/2 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 73*, Aaron Finch 47, Virat Kohli 33*, Devdutt Padikkal 32) beat KKR: 112/9 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 34, Chris Morris 2/17, Washington Sundar 2/20) by 82 runs