What Chris Gayle can do, Virat Kohli can do better!
The Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper announced his arrival in IPL 2013 with a dazzling half-century to pummel the Sunrisers Hyderabad into submission in their IPL 2013 game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Needing 162 for a win, after SRH finished their innings on 161 for six from their 20 overs, Kohli played a blinder of an innings smashing the Sunrisers bowlers all around the park to finish unbeaten on 93 from just 47 balls, which included 11 fours and 4 sixes as RCB reached their target with 14 balls to spare.
With the win RCB joined the Sunrisers in the points table with two wins from three games, while also avenging their loss to the same side in a Super Over in Hyderabad a couple of days back.
Mayank Agarwal was given the honour of opening the batting with Chris Gayle, in the absence of Tillakaratne Dilshan, who was left out for AB De Villiers, with the former actually getting off to a much quicker start as the big West Indian took his time settling in.
Agarwal perished for a 20-ball 29, while going for one expansive shot too many, before the big man also lost his wicket, caught behind by Parthiv Patel off Ishant Sharma's bowling.
Kohli came and immediately looked in the mood, striking a wonderful shot through offside for a boundary off his very first ball.
Kohli along with De Villiers, playing his first game, looked dangerous and threatened to take the game away from the Sunrisers with some wonderful strokeplay.
However, De Villiers was dismissed for 15, caught at deep midwicket by Hanuma Vihari, a couple of deliveries after Kohli had smashed White for a four and a six from the second and third delivery of the over.
Kohli, who took over the Orange Cap from teammate Gayle following his highest ever score in the IPL by some distance, did not even blink following De Villiers' wicket though as the RCK skipper raised his game to another level, with Amit Mishra bearing the brunt of Kohli's wrath, as the elegant batsman smashed the leg spinner for a couple of truly brilliant straight sixes.
Perera then was running for cover in the next over as Kohli looked to finish the game quickly, which he did with some aplomb, taking RCB to 162 for three in 17.2 overs.
Earlier, Cameron White and Thisara Perera were the stars of the first innings, propelling the Sunrisers to their total.
As has been very much the norm in IPL 2013, the first six overs did not yield too many runs as the Sunrisers chugged along at somewhere between six and seven runs an over.
They lost opener Akshath Reddy to RP Singh's bowling, with Kumar Sangakkara and Patel combining for 38 runs to take the Sunrisers to 50 in the eighth over.
Patel (20, 19b, 2x4) got done by a brilliant Doosra by Muttiah Muralitharan, before Sangakkara joined his teammate back to the pavilion soon after for a 24-ball 23.
At 62 for three from 10.2 overs, the Sunrisers desperately needed a big partnership on a wicket that was built for a big score. And, White and Perera duly obliged with a nice 80-run alliance from just 44 balls.
Sixes were more in demand than fours as the two batsmen tore into the RCB bowling. White finished with a smashing 34-ball 52 (3x4, 3x6), while Perera had a massive four sixes in his 40.
The Sunrisers lost their way a bit once Perera lost his wicket in the 18th over, with RP Singh (three for 27), playing his first game of the tournament, in particular, bowling a really good last couple of overs to ensure the total did not get out of hand -- not that it would have mattered much with Kohli in the mood that he was in.