x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Kohli enjoys batting at No 3 as Bangalore beat Delhi by three wickets

Bangalore's Virat Kohli admits to enjoying his batting at No 3 after scoring a match-winning 56 against Delhi in the IPL.

Virat Kohli top-scored for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium last night.
Virat Kohli top-scored for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium last night.

Virat Kohli smashed 56 off 38 balls to help Royal Challengers Bangalore pull off a three-wicket victory in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter against Delhi Daredevils yesterday.

Chasing 161 for victory, Bangalore crossed the line in the last over after surviving a late scare from paceman Morne Morkel, who picked up three wickets, including Kohli.

He was naturally a happy man. "I've always looked to bat No 3, I can get myself in and play my shots. I'm loving it," he said.

Batting first after losing the toss, Virender Sehwag and David Warner could not repeat the heroics of Bangalore's last match, against Kings XI Punjab, as both openers went for 43. Sehwag, who scored 25 off 18, was run out following a mix-up with James Hopes, who then held the innings together with key stands.

Delhi reached 100 for three by the 14th over and set themselves up for a launch, but Daniel Vettori soon cleaned up Rao (24 off 21 balls) to break the 47-run stand.

Hopes, who had a reprieve after being dismissed off a Abhimanyu Mithun no-ball, then reached his fifty off 39 balls but became the paceman's second victim.

Naman Ojha (16) and Irfan Pathan (13) blasted some useful runs towards the end to stretch the total to 160 for six.

In reply, Bangalore raced to 65 - the highest score off six overs in the IPL young season so far - despite the early loss of Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was caught behind in Ashok Dinda's first over.

Kohli hit four boundaries off Pathan's second over and Chris Gayle hit a boundary and a six off Morkel's next before blasting 17 off Dinda in partnership with Kohli. Hopes broke the 82-run stand by dismissing Gayle for 26 off 14 balls with a short ball, but Kohli continued in the same vein to bring up his 50 off just 31 with his eighth boundary.

AB de Villiers joined Kohli, but Warner's accurate throw from the deep left the South African stranded. Delhi then suffered a bigger blow in the next over when Morkel cleaned up the free-stroking Kohli (56 off 38).

Saurabh Tiwary and Cheteshwar Pujara took the score past 100 in the 11th over but the latter lifted an innocuous Yogesh Nagar delivery straight to Warner at deep mid-wicket to leave Bangalore on 107 for five.

Tiwary and Vettori soon brought down the requirement to 32 off 24 balls, with the former easing the pressure straight away by hitting a six off Morkel's first ball.

However, the paceman brought Delhi back into the game by dismissing Tiwary and new man Mithun in quick succession which meant Bangalore required 22 off 18.

Syed Mohammad joined captain Vettori, who hit two boundaries in the next over, to bring the target down to 12 off 12 balls.

The pair then picked nine of the next over and Vettori (18 not out off 19) survived a scare in the next over when he was dropped by Pathan at mid-off.

Syed (13 not off 10) finished things off with a quick single off the next ball.

* Agencies