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Kolkata: Virat Kohli smashed his first century of the season after Moeen Ali’s blistering knock as Royal Challengers Bangalore amassed 213 for four against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League on Friday.

The Indian skipper paced his innings brilliantly and got out on the last ball of the innings for a 58-ball 100, his fifth in the IPL. RCB scored 91 runs off the last five overs to record their highest total of the season.

It was Ali who gave the much needed oxygen to their innings, smashing six sixes and five fours to seize momentum after a slow start. Kohli and Ali shared 90 runs off 43 balls and there was no looking back after Ali’s assault.

The match swung in the 16th over when Kuldeep Yadav bled 27 runs with Ali going berserk, smashing the star India spinner for three sixes and two boundaries. The chinaman ended with figures of 1/59 in four overs.

Kohli, who scored his first 50 off 40 balls, changed gears in the second half of his innings. Such was his domination that Kohli took just 17 balls for his second fifty.

Put in, RCB got off to an ordinary start and the absence of AB de Villiers, who was indisposed following dehydration, was felt very much.

Kohli mistimed the ball with a couple of inside-edges to the boundary, while his left-handed opening parter Parthiv Patel (11 off 11) had a hit-and-miss stay before falling to Sunil Narine inside the powerplay.

In the middle of all this, RCB sent in Akshdeep Nath (13 off 15) at number three keeping the in-form Ali in waiting. RCB made only 42 inside the powerplay.

With AB de Villiers indisposed, Akshdeep Nath (13) was sent to bat at No. 3 but the move did not bear fruit as the batsman skied a Andre Russell delivery for Robin Uthappa to charge in from short cover and snaffle it.

Ali then took it upon himself to up the ante by tonking Kuldeep for a six over long on in the 10th over as the RCB scoreboard read 70/2 at the halfway stage.

Ali went berserk from there on, smashing Kuldeep for 27 runs in the 16th over with a series that read 4-6-4-6-1W-6 before holing out to Prasidh at long-on in the last ball of the over.

RCB scored 70 runs for the loss of just one wicket between overs 14 and 17. After Ali was dismissed, Kohli and Stoinis continued the carnage with the last three overs leaking 45 runs.


Photo: Google