Rajkot: He had the most number of 50 plus scores without a century in T20 cricket before this day and he was certainly not pleased with it. On Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar’s 43rd birthday, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli registered his maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) and T20 ton against Gujarat Lions from the last ball of the RCB innings.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Kohli opened the innings with Shane Watson. RCB were pushed on the back foot early in the innings as the Lions succeeded to get vital break-throughs with wickets of Shane Watson (6) and AB de Villiers (20).
However, Kohli and his Indian teammate KL Rahul rose to the task stitching an unbeaten partnership of 122 runs in 12.2 overs for the third wicket. Kohli’s century came in 63 balls, an innings that was decorated with 11 boundaries and one six. Rahul scored 51 runs of 35 balls.
The thunderous innings earned Team India’s swashbuckling batsman the Orange Cap snatching it from Sunrisers Hyderabad’s David Warner. Kohli now leads the highest run-scorers list this IPL with 367 runs well ahead of Warner, who has 294 runs to his credit.
"It’s a good feeling but the game's not over. Today was one of the days. I didn't expect myself to hit a hundred. I just wanted to hit in good areas. Even against Delhi, I was 75 (he scored 79) at the time and Dan (Daniel Vettori) told me a hundred was there. I was run out on 99 once,” Kohli said during the innings break.
“I never really thought about it today though. I was just concentrated on hitting the gap,” he added.
Very good knock by @imVkohli serious striking. Quality player he is. 👌👍 1st 20/20 100 congrats.— David Warner (@davidwarner31) April 24, 2016
Kohli almost sent shivers down the spines of many RCB supporters when he started limping during his innings. “I sort of slipped going for a second, sprained in my ankle, but that was where fitness counts, the other muscles took over. I thought 155, the wicket was slow, breaking off, you'll see it will be much more difficult batting in the second innings," Kohli pointed out.
Wishes poured in from all corner immediately after Kohli touched 100. Here are some of them:
— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) April 24, 2016
— Nikhil Chinapa (@nikhilchinapa) April 24, 2016