Devdutt Padikkal managed to outshine none other than the great Virat Kohli with a hundred elegant in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) ‘s successful 178 point chase against Rajasthan Royals (RR), on a virtual ride from a IPL competition at Wankhede Stadium Mumbai on April 22. It hardly happens that someone as brilliant as Kohli plays a second violin, allowing the talented left-hander to use his nervous wrists to stroke balls all over the floor during a breathtaking inaugural century of IPL, a undefeated 101 out of 52 balls.
RCB never looked in a heart-wrenching haste and yet the goal was hit in just 16.3 overs with all 10 wickets intact. Kohli went on the offensive once Padikkal secured the win as his contribution was 72 and not on 47 balls in their unbroken opening stand of 181.
The juggernaut RCB continues to ride with his fourth trotting victory and a solid base in the points table from the third week of the tournament. RR, with a team that hardly inspires confidence, again looks good to get back up to the rear.
The six that broke off Padikkal’s blade were more a matter of timing than power as he hit 11 fours and six sixes during his hit.
Choosing Mustafizur Rahaman’s short ball length and getting in shape to execute a perfect shot for a six has shown why experts believe it is only a matter of time before he dons the national colors.
Riyan Parag’s upside-down chip on an extra blanket to end his half-century of 27 bullets, the sweeping shots, the slash on the back point, and the six straight footwork-saving straights all testified to his solid technical basis.
Once Padikkal was in the mid ’80s, skipper RCB changed his arms, including an additional six cover on RR Chris Morris’ costlier purchase.
Kohli’s 50 managed 34 balls and was followed by a personal milestone of 6,000 IPL runs as RR surrendered well before the official end of the match.
Earlier, Rahul Tewatia’s impressive death-over ensured a 177-to-9 fight for RR after another familiar top-notch no-show.
On a good hitting surface, RR managed a short-lived total of 25 points, but the credit for the decent score goes to a counterattack effort from the all-rounder Shivam Dube (46 of 32 balls) which stemmed the rot and the big shots of Tewatia (40 on 23 balls) which helped them to cross the bar of 175 points.
Dube broke two sixes and five fours and with Riyan Parag (25 of 15 balls) giving him good support, added 66 points for the fifth wicket with just 6.2 overs to give his side a semblance of respectability.
While the all-round giant was comfortable playing “at home”, using the pace of deliveries, the debauched top-order of RR once again flattered to cheat with their skipper Sanju Samson, who was “constantly inconsistent “.
It took Dube’s impressive effort to muscle up the RR’s rickety scorecard.
For RCB, Mohammed Siraj’s first cutter (3/27 in 4 overs) cleared Jos Buttler (8) and Manan Vohra (7), with another selection of excruciating punches from Kyle Jamieson (1/28 in 4 overs), could ensured a long stay in the canoe.
Siraj then unleashed a perfect toe crusher for David Miller (0) as skipper Virat Kohli made a perfect call for DRS. Samson (21 of 18 bullets), kept up IPL’s nearly ten-year tradition of fizzing after one or two good shots as a six off from Washington Sundar was followed by an indiscreet chip shot in the middle of the counter.
Yuzvendra Chahal’s two six-in-ones from Dube (0/18 in 2 overs) forced Kohli to remove his leg spinner from the attack. Kane Richardson (1/29 in 3 overs) then denied Dube on what would have been a good half century as Tewatia raised the bar in the final overs with Chris Morris.
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