Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) star batter Virat Kohli on Sunday scripted history as he slammed his seventh Indian Premier League (IPL) century, becoming the first player to hit the most hundreds in the tournament history.
It was a 60-ball 100, a knock studded with 13 fours and 1 sixes, but Kohli made it a point to stay true to his technique, with each of those runs coming via proper cricketing shots. Kohli slammed back-to-back centuries for RCB, scoring his seventh ton in the tournament’s history.
A masterful knock from the run machine achieved this feat during a match against Gujarat Titans in their do-or-die match of IPL 2023.
It was Kohli’s seventh century in IPLs – overtaking the record set by Chris Gayle (6) – and reinforced his enduring impact in the format, coming on the back of debate over whether his strike rate in the middle overs hampers the team.
After slamming a ton in the match against GT, Kohli said at the presentation, “We would have taken that with both hands once we were five wickets down. We pretty much pulled things back towards the end. Close to 200 is a winnable score for me. It’s upon the bowlers to execute. I felt great. A lot of people think that my T20 cricket is declining, but I don’t think so. I look to hit gaps and then the big ones towards the end. You have to read situations and rise up to the situations. I feel really good about my game at the moment. Spin wasn’t easy to get away from. There’s enough on this pitch for our bowlers. What matters is to stay in the present. I wasn’t focusing on the rain, focused on what I need to do for the team.”
Coming to the match, it was a vintage Virat Kohli show as Gujarat Titans bowlers found themselves helpless in front of his sublime knock of 101* at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.
RCB made a vintage start to the game as Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli showcased their batting skills and ability to dictate the flow of the game early in the innings.
Their partnership was once again on display which has been the focal point of the success RCB have enjoyed this season.
They produced some rollicking shots throughout the powerplay and ended with an impressive score of 62/0.
After the end of the powerplay, Hardik Pandya brought in their deadly spin duo from Afghanistan – Noor Ahmad and Rashid Khan. This single move brought GT back into the game.
Ahmad got the breakthrough by dismissing the RCB skipper Faf du Plessis for a score of 28(19). GT started to find their feet as Rashid dismissed Glenn Maxwell before he could take his time to settle on the pitch.
Noor came back into the attack to dismiss Mahipal Lomror for 1(3). Michael Bracewell walked in and stayed with Virat to keep RCB’s innings intact after losing three wickets in quick succession. Along with Virat, he kept the scoreboard ticking, scoring runs at every single opportunity. But Shami had other plans as he picked up the wicket of Bracewell for a score of 26(16).
Dinesh Karthik had the opportunity to turn his season around by staying till the final over and finishing the game for RCB. However, Yash Dayal’s single ball was enough to make sure his poor form continued in IPL 2023. Karthik left the crease for a golden duck.
From that moment Anuj Rawat and Kohli shifted their gears and quickly accelerated to push RCB towards the 200-run mark. In the final three overs, both of them gathered 42 runs to take RCB to a total of 197/5 in 20 overs.