Bangalore: Two of the game’s modern greats put on an exhibition of batting in a second-wicket stand worth 157 as the Royal Challengers Bangalore demolished the Sunrisers Hyderabad by 45 runs in their Indian Premier League match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here yesterday.
Between them, De Villiers (82 off 42) and Kohli (75 off 51) smashed 14 fours and nine sixes as they pounded a Sunrisers bowling unit that simply had no solution to the skill and power that was on display.
RCB have surprisingly never won the IPL but have stated their intentions of rectifying that with a resounding win that never looked in doubt.
Sunrisers’ captain David Warner offered a brief glimmer of hope with a belligerent 58 from 24, but when he holed out to deep square leg after failing to keep down a Shane Watson bumper, so ended the away side’s chances of an upset.
Warner won the toss and chose to bowl first. He would have been delighted with the start, dismissing Chris Gayle for a duck off Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
But that only brought De Villiers to the crease who all but won the match with Kohli within 12 overs of brutal batting.
What will please RCB coach Daniel Vettori, apart from the resounding result, will be the way his side managed to steal singles with impunity while batting, and threw their bodies around while fielding (including Gayle).
At this level, results often come down to the smallest margins and the way RCB got the basics right indicates that they are taking this title challenge seriously.
Apart from Warner, the one shining light for the Sunrisers was the performance of 20-year-old Mustafizur Rahman. The Bangladeshi seamer, on his IPL debut, managed to secure impressive figures of 2-26 off his four overs, at a run rate of 5.8 to the over.
His battle with the equally inspiring Sarfaraz Khan promises to be one for the future. The 18-year-old batsman scooped and punched his way to 35 not out off 10.
Ashish Reddy, Karn Sharma and Morgan provided some entertainment later on, but the required rate was always beyond them.
BRIEF SCORES: Royal Challengers Bangalore 227 for 4 (De Villiers 82, Kohli 75, Sarfaraz 35*) beatSunrisers Hyderabad 182 for 6 (Warner 58, Reddy 32, Watson 2-20, Chahal 2-43) by 45 runs.
TODAY’S FIXTURE: Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians (at Kolkata, starting 5.30pm Bahrain time).