Virat Kohli scored his first IPL century in four years as he led RCB to victory against SRH.
Virat Kohli led the way in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) rather comfortable victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) with his sixth Indian Premier League (IPL) century. Kohli scored exactly 100 runs off 63 balls as part of a 172-run opening partnership with RCB captain Faf du Plessis. He was eventually dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar but the damage was done by then and RCB eventually won the game by eight wickets.
This was Kohli’s first IPL century since 2019 and his sixth overall, thus equalling Chris Gayle’s record for the most in the history of the tournament. It also comes as a part of a larger return to century-scoring form for Kohli as he ended his long-running droughts in Tests and ODIs while also scoring his first-ever T20I century at the 2022 Asia Cup.
Naturally, a number of former players and commentators expressed their admiration for what Kohli achieved and foremost among them was India batting great Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar, who played with Kohli for a number of years in the twilight of his illustrious career, said that it was evident right from the early stages of the innings that it was going to be the latter’s day.
“It was evident that this would be Virat’s day from the very first ball when he played that cover drive. Virat and Faf both looked in total control, they not only played many big shots but also ran rather well between the wickets to build a successful partnership. 186 wasn’t a big enough total for the way they both batted,” said Tendulkar in his tweet.
Du Plessis scored 71 off 47 balls as RCB chased down a target of 187 with four balls to spare. SRH themselves were buoyed by their in-form batter Heinrich Klaasen scoring his first-ever IPL century. Klaasen scored 104 off 51 balls but he was almost a lone warrior as the rest of the SRH batters struggled. Kohli and Du Plessis, on the other hand, all but ended the chase with their opening partnership itself. Four of Kohli’s previous five centuries had come in a single bumper season in 2016 in which he scored a mind-numbing 973 runs at a strike rate of 152.03 and average of 81.08. Kohli then scored his fifth century in the 2019 season, scoring 100 off 58 balls in RCB’s 10-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders.