Cometh the hour, cometh the man is a phrase that aptly derives Virat Kohli’s batting whether he is playing for India or for his IPL franchise. The dashing right hander has always thrived under pressure and once again delivered for his Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) franchise in their match against the Kings XI Punjab on the 18th of May.
Rain had threatened to cancel the match but in the end the match was reduced to 15 overs a side. RCB batted first and Kohli and Gayle stole the show as they took apart the Kings XI bowlers in a 147 run partnership and for the first time in the 2016 IPL, Gayle came to the party scoring 73 of just 32 balls which included eight 6s and four 4s. But it was Kohli who stole the show by notching up yet another fantastic century in this year’s IPL. The RCB captain knew that he had to deliver as his team has to win all their remaining matches to qualify for the playoffs.
Kohli scored 113 in just 50 balls with a strike rate of 226 to take his team to 211. His bowlers then used the scoreboard pressure and ran through a depleted Kings XI line-up after getting the opening wickets of M Vijay and H Amla. The RCB bowlers had the Kings XI reeling on 120 for the loss of 9 wickets in 14 overs before rain interrupted the match and RCB were declared winners based on the D/L method. This win keeps RCB in the race to enter the playoffs.
In a statement, Kohli said “Today was a shortened game, but I was glad we got 15 overs in. We were desperate to get onto the park. It wouldn’t have mattered even if it was a five-overs game. We wanted four in four, we now have three in three. So there’s no reason why we can’t win. We have got to that stage, where we’ve stopped thinking about other teams. We are just relaxed, the guys in the dugout are doing a great job. We’ve got the momentum now”.
Kohli also created a record of becoming the highest scorer in IPL history with 4002 runs, surpassing Suresh Raina in the process who has 3985 runs. Kohli now has 4 centuries, 24 fifties at a strike rate of 130 plus and has also made him the highest run scorer as of now in the 2016 IPL championship.