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Ton-up Rahul enough for Kohli’s Bangalore

Virat Kohli dropped the Punjab skipper on 83 and 89 before he goes on to make 132 not out

KL Rahul made the most of two dropped chances, both from Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli, handing Kings XI Punjab a massive 97-run victory for their first victory of the Indian Premier League on Thursday.

Punjab were left cursing their luck after they lost to Delhi Capitals in Super Over despite being in a winning position to lose their first game. But on Thursday, luck struck when Kohli dropped Rahul twice and the skipper went on to smash a sensational 69-ball 132 leading his side to tournament’s second big total of 206-3.

But Rahul’s innings was enough to punish Bangalore after the Kohli-led side were bundled out for just 109 runs with three overs to spare.

The day belonged to Rahul’s breathe-taking innings as the two dropped chances were the only two flaws in his game. Dropped on 83 and soon on 89 by Kohli in easy chances, Rahul hammered 14 boundaries and seven sixes to brining the highest score in the IPL by an Indian batsman.

After Sheldon Cottrell made early inroads, young spinner Ravi Bishnoi ripped through Bangalore middle order. PHOTO: BCCI/IPL

He opened with a 57-run opening wicket partnership with Mayank Agarwal (26) and followed it with another 57 with Nicholas Pooran (17) and 72 with Karun Nair (15). South African pacer Dale Steyn bore the brunt when he was hit for four sixes after Kohli’s first drop came off the same bowler.

Steyn was hit for 57 runs in four overs. Shiva Dube took two wickets but was smashed for 33 runs in two overs. Yuzvendra Chahal (1-25) was the only bowler to contain Rahul.

Bangalore were down and out when Sheldon Cottrell removed Devdutt Padikkal and Kohli – both for one run – to reduce Bangalore to 4-3 by the third over. AB de Villiers (28) and Aaron Finch (20) added 49 runs before the Bangalore slide resumed.

Washington Sundar top scored for Bangalore making 30 off 27 with two fours and a six. Ravi Bishnoi (3-32) and Murugan Ashwin (3-21) took care of the Bangalore middle order sharing six wickets between them.

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