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Kohli century goes in vain as Gujarat top points table with close win

Kohli century goes in vain as Gujarat top points table with close win
Virat Kohli scored his maiden century in T20 but had to end on the losing side.

Gujarat Lions 182-4 (Karthik 50no) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 180-2 (Kohli 100no) by six wickets
19th Match, Indian Premier League, Rajkot

A maiden Twenty20 hundred from Virat Kohli went in vain as an all-round batting effort and an unbeaten fifty from Dinesh Karthik saw the Gujarat Lions chase down a target of 181 runs in 19.3 overs to secure a six-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 19th match of the Indian Premier League in Rajkot.

Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss and opted to bat first. After a tight first over from Praveen Kumar (0-28), Shane Watson (6) holed out to cover point in the second over from Dhawal Kulkarni (1-39).

Kohli (100 not out) and AB de Villiers (20) began scoring positively and hit a total of seven boundaries taking Royal Challengers Bangalore to 50 for one in the powerplay.

In the eighth over, de Villiers chipped a catch to Suresh Raina in the covers, ending the 51-run stand for the second wicket. By the halfway mark, Royal Challengers Bangalore had reached 76 for two.

While Lokesh Rahul (51 not out) settled down at one end, Kohli brought up a 40-ball fifty and soon came the 50-run stand for the third wicket. The partnership grew in strength as Royal Challengers reached 115 for two at the end of 15 overs.

Rahul struck two sixes in the 16th over and followed it up with two fours in the 17th while Kohli continued to march on towards the three-figure mark despite suffering from cramps.

The partnership between Rahul and Kohli went past the 100-run mark in the 19th over and with a six and two fours, Kohli brought up his first ever T20 hundred as Royal Challengers Bangalore piled on 180 for two in 20 overs.

In the chase, Dwayne Smith (32) gave Gujarat Lions a terrific start, hitting three fours and two sixes in the first four overs.

Kane Richardson (1-53) had Smith caught at long on in the sixth over but Brendon McCullum (42) plundered two sixes and two fours as Gujarat Lions scored 25 runs from the sixth over to reach 72 for one by the end of the powerplay.

A couple of overs later, McCullum chipped a catch back to Tabraiz Shamsi (1-21). With 10 overs left in the game, Gujarat Lions needed 86 runs with eight wickets in hand.

Having enjoyed a good start to the chase, Raina (28) and Karthik (50 not out) came together to post a responsible 53-run stand in 7.2 overs, leaving 45 runs to get from the last 30 balls.

Looking to up the ante, Raina holed out to long off in the 16th over. Ravindra Jadeja (12) announced his arrival with a huge six over midwicket.

Though he went for 48 runs in the first three overs, Richardson gave just six runs in the 18th over but dropped Karthik in it.

21 runs were needed from 12 balls but Karthik struck two boundaries as 14 runs were scored off the penultimate over, bringing the equation down to seven runs needed from the final over.

Karthik completed his fifty in the final over while Jadeja was caught behind but Dwayne Bravo (4 not out) smashed a four to deliver the six-wicket win for Gujarat Lions.

This win took them to the top of the points table while Royal Challengers Bangalore are placed fifth after their third defeat in the tournament. Kohli’s century fetched him the man of the match award.

© Cricket World 2016