Skipper Virat Kohli hit an unbeaten 90 as Royal Challengers Bangalore outplayed Chennai Super Kings by 37 runs in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
Kohli held the innings strong despite early losses including AB de Villiers for nought and a slow start to take the attack to the opposition in Bangalore’s 169 for four in Dubai.
The star batsman scored his second half-century of the IPL season and exploded in the last four overs to help Bangalore get 66 runs as Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai lost the plot.
“It was one of our more complete performances,” man of the match Kohli said after leading Bangalore to their fourth win of the season in six matches.
“We spoke at the time out that around 150 would be great. When you don’t get too far ahead of the game, it rewards you.
“If you’re in at the death overs and you have a score and you’re hitting it well, you can capitalise well. That was something for us to learn tonight.”
Bangalore’s South African paceman Chris Morris led a disciplined bowling attack with figures of 3-19 from his four overs to keep down Chennai to 132 for eight at the end of 20 overs.
Ambati Rayudu top-scored with 42 but the top and the middle order faltered including Dhoni scoring just 10 runs in Chennai’s fifth loss in seven games.
“I think the last four overs when we were bowling (didn’t go to plan), before that the bowlers had done a good job, we needed to close in nicely,” said a disappointed Dhoni.
“Batting has been bit of a worry and today also it was evident. We need to do something about it. I think we are better off playing the other way round, playing the bigger shots even if you get out.”
Coach Stephen Fleming said the team needs to bat with more “intent” in the upcoming games and the play-off race will get “further away” if the three-time IPL champions keep playing like this.
Kohli stood out with a well-paced knock as he scored fifty in 39 balls and then smashed the bowlers to all parts of the ground with four fours and four sixes in his 52-ball stay.
“What fun that was to watch Kohli. Not just the shots but the running (between the wickets)!,” veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle wrote on Twitter.
Earlier in the first match of the day, skipper Dinesh Karthik led by example with a blazing 58 to set up Kolkata Knight Riders’ narrow two-run win over Kings XI Punjab.
Karthik top-scored to guide Kolkata to 164 for six, a total their bowlers defended by restricting Kings XI Punjab to 162-5 in Abu Dhabi.
Paceman Prasidh Krishna claimed three wickets and spinner Sunil Narine returned figures of 2-28 to choke the opposition chase despite skipper KL Rahul’s 74.