Bengaluru: As expected the M Chinnaswamy stadium got a dose off both the factors, one desired and one not so desired, as the heavens opened up for almost two hours followed by a shower of sixes and fours from the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who posted a massive total off 211 for three in 15 overs against the Kings XI Punjab, with the unstoppable Virat Kohli notching up his fourth century in the ongoing Indian Premier League season.
A steady downpour from 6:30pm to 9:00pm on Wednesday almost threw up the prospect match of being abandoned or reduced drastically. But superb work by the groundsmen ensured a 15-overs-a-side contest, which was a relief to the home team, with their playoff chances on the line.
After being put into bat, RCB's opening duo got down to business from the very onset. Skipper Virat Kohli (113 off 50) in the form of his life, along with Chris Gayle (73 off 32), who has finally shown glimpses off his destructive nature guided the Challengers to their massive total.
Kohli, who suffered a split webbing in the previous match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, needing seven stitches, showed no impact off the pain on his game as he hammered another superb century in style with a boundary, sending it over deep-wicket.
The dashing skipper, who pumped his fists towards the dug out to celebrate his hundred, smashed 12 fours and eight sixes. He fell soon after caught by David Miller trying to hoist Sandeep Sharma over the ropes.
Gayle, who has not been in touch this season, brought up his first fifty off the season off just 26 deliveries. Birthday boy Sandeep Sharma, who opened the bowling for Punjab, had the only mellow over off the innings, with just five runs off the opening over. Thereafter, the bowlers came apart as most deliveries went out of the park with the packed stadium's eyes raised towards the skies for most of the innings as it rained sixes.
The opening partnership off 147 off 66 balls which set the foundation came to an end as Miller took an easy catch at long-off to dismiss the West Indian, who looked his dangerous self on the day. Gayle's power knock included four fours and eight huge sixes.
Kylie Abbot who had been punished by the RCB duo soon took his revenge as he dismissed off AB de Villiers for nought. Though Murali Vijay's men were happy with the two quick wickets the damage had already been done. The Sanjay Bangar-coached side was guilty of sloppy field work, which included a missed run out of Kohli and too many extras to help RCB post the huge total....