In the 65th game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, played on Thursday at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in this city, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by an eight-wicket margin thanks to Virat Kohli's outstanding century (100 off 63) and Faf du Plessis' fine fifty (71 off 47), which outclassed Heinrich Klaasen's hundred.
With this victory, RCB improved their chances of making the playoffs by moving up to fourth place in the standings with 14 points after 13 games. With just four victories in 13 games, SRH, on the other hand, stayed at the bottom of the standings.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) reached 186/5 in 20 overs thanks to South African wicket-keeper batsman Klaasen's first IPL century (104 off 51). Harry Brook (27 off 19) was SRH's second-best scorer behind Klaasen. For the fourth wicket, Klaasen and Brook quickly put up a 74-run partnership. Michael Bracewell, on the other hand, was the most effective bowler for RCB with his outstanding 2-13.
Opening pair Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis gave RCB a flying start as they set out to defeat 187 with a score of 64/0 after six overs. With four boundaries in the opening two overs from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Abhishek Sharma, Kohli got RCB off to a fast start.
Natarajan bowled a solid over, allowing just 7 runs to be scored. However, Kartik Tyagi was targeted by Du Plessis and Kohli, who pounded the inexperienced bowler for four home runs in a single over. Faf missed his shot throughout the process, but Glenn Philips was unable to grab a grip of the ball.
As RCB advanced quickly in the run chase, Kohli and Faf both pierced the gaps with surgical accuracy and continued to select boundaries at whim. Runs were pouring in from both ends, forcing SRH captain Markram to switch bowlers often. The RCB openers were a little cautious while playing spinner Mayank Dagar, who was facing rookie Nitish Kumar, but they kept the scoreboard moving to get them to 95/0 after 10 overs.
When Philips entered the game to bowl the 12th over, Kohli and Faf both reached their individual fifty-run marks, and RCB was cruising to victory. Kohli and Du Plessis maintained their batting devastation as the pursuing squad was 150/0 after 15 overs, giving the impression that RCB delivered their clinical best to the crucial stages of the competition.
As Virat finally delivered his incredible century after a lengthy wait of four years, nothing was going in SRH's favor. In the IPL, it was Kohli's sixth century, tying Chris Gayle for the most all-time. He and Faf du Plessis also put up a sizable opening partnership of 172 runs.
Kohli was bowled by Bhuvneshwar with the fifth ball of the 18th over, the exact next delivery after he reached his century, but he had already done more than enough for his team. Even when Natarajan removed Du Plessis in the next over, players like Glenn Maxwell (5 not out) and Michael Bracewell (4 not out) helped RCB cross the finish line with four balls remaining.
When Sunrisers Hyderabad were given the opportunity to bat first, they got off to a poor start because RCB pacers Mohammed Siraj and Wayne Parnell kept the openers, Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi, on a short leash.
With the openers smashing the pacer for 16 runs in Parnell's second over, SRH gained some traction. However, to slow down the scoring pace, New Zealand spinner Bracewell struck out both of the openers in his first over.
as 4.3 overs, SRH was at 28/2 as Abhishek (11) was dismissed while playing a cut shot and Tripathi (15) could only loft his ball to short fine-leg for a catch. Then, when SRH finished the Power-play with 49-2, the in-form Heinrich Klaasen joined the fray and destroyed Shahbaz Ahmed for 16 off his first over.
The decision by SRH management to go up the order and bat in-form hitter Klaasen paid off as he persisted in his aggressive style, leading to a flurry of fours and sixes.
However, when SRH quickly reached 81/2 after 10 overs, captain Aiden Markram was taking in the show from the other end and enjoying himself while playing second fiddle.
Klaasen reached his half-century in only 24 balls after hitting leg-spinner Karn Sharma for a six in the very next over. The RCB was in dire need of a wicket, and Shahbaz Ahmed delivered by taking out Markram to end the 76-run partnership.
Despite getting rid of Markram, RCB didn't find any solace, as replacement hitter Harry Brook looked sharp from the moment he faced the first ball. After missing a few games, Brook returned to the team and played several elegant strokes to score sixes and boundaries. While SRH had reached 133/3 after 15 overs, Klaasen was in no condition to relent and destroyed the RCB bowlers.
Shahbaz received a 19-run beating from Klaasen and Brook after skipper Faf Du Plessis choose to bowl him in the 17th over. Parnell greatly relieved RCB by allowing only 7 runs to be scored during his over.
After finally hitting a weak pitch from Harshal for a straight six, Klaasen completed his century in 49 balls. However, Harshal was victorious when he dismissed Klaasen with a sinking yorker. After that, Siraj, who was playing on his home field, bowled a superb over, allowing only 4 runs and dismissing Glenn Phillips, limiting Sunrisers to 186-5 in 20 overs.
By eight wickets, Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad, 186/5 in 20 Overs (Heinrich Klaasen 104, Harry Brook 27; M. Bracewell 2-13) (Virat Kohli 100, Faf du Plessis 71; T. Natarajan 1-34).