Royal Challengers Bangalore opened its IPL campaign with a 45-run victory as Sunrisers Hyderabad felt the force of the opponent’s considerable batting might here on Tuesday. Virat Kohli and A.B. de Villiers, two of the more terrifying names in the business, combined to add a rapid 157 runs (87b) for the second wicket as RCB ran up the second-highest IPL total at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Chasing 228 for victory, Hyderabad fell well short.
But the outcome was far from certain as long as David Warner was around. The Hyderabad captain blitzed a 25-ball-58, an innings that included five tall sixes, to help his side reach 83 for one in eight overs. But he fell to his compatriot Shane Watson, pulling a slower ball into the hands of the fielder on the leg-side boundary.
The innings unravelled thereafter, Watson claiming a second wicket, and Yuzvendra Chahal two of his own, as the game meandered to a close.
Soon after Warner elected to field first, RCB lost a puzzled Chris Gayle for one, bowled around his legs by the swing of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. And then the runs flowed, in a gushing, raging torrent.
The mayhem began with the pair of Kohli, who continued to open the innings for RCB, and de Villiers. The South African was the more dominant batsman at first, playing a series of handsome shots. Overs four and five yielded a total of 31 runs, de Villiers stroking one through the covers, launching another over the sight-screen, while Kohli played second fiddle — a feeling he must have forgotten.
Karn Sharma was slog-swept for a pair of giant sixes, and soon de Villiers would march to his fifty, off a mere 26 balls. A little later Kohli raised his half-century — eighth in 13 innings in T20 cricket — with one that sailed over cow-corner. The partnership swelled at a devastating rate: its first 50 runs came off 37 balls; the second 50 took 26 and the third only 19.
Kohli was eventually bowled by Bhuvneshwar for 75, breaking an alliance that was the second highest on this ground in the IPL. But RCB was not done.
Watson freed his considerable shoulders, swinging Karn — who went for 57 runs — away for a hat-trick of sixes. It did not help Hyderabad that Ashish Nehra walked off with an injury after bowling 2.1 overs.
Sarfaraz Ahmed arrived at de Villiers’s exit and thrilled the crowd with an assortment of scoop shots, making a 10-ball-35.
Bhuvneshwar bled 28 from the 19th over as RCB returned to the changing room with a mountain of a total.
Hyderabad did not get anywhere near the peak.
RCB 227/4 (20.0 Ovs)
SRH 182/6 (20.0 Ovs)
Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 45 runs
PLAYER OF THE MATCH:- AB de Villiers