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IPL 2023: Virat Smashes Century, RCB beat Hyderabad to Stay in Playoffs Hunt

Virat Kohli scored his first IPL century on four years, in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

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Two centuries were scored in Thursday night's IPL 2023 match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad, the difference though was that Virat Kohli's ton had able support in Faf du Plessis and was on the back of a good bowling performance from his team.

Heinrich Klaasen's century though was the sole performance of any importance in the match for Hyderabad as he neither found much support from his fellow batters, or from the bowlers during RCB's chase.

The result - Bangalore won the match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium by 8 wickets, with four balls to spare.

With this win, RCB jumped to the fourth position in the table having 14 points in 13 matches and boosted their playoff chances. On the other hand, SRH remained at the bottom of the table with just four wins in 13 games.

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Virat Kohli scored his first IPL century on four years, in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

IPL 2023 Points Table after Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad.

(Photo: The Quint)

Klaasen Starred in Hyderabad's Innings

Earlier, South African wicket-keeper batter Heinrich Klaasen's attacking century (104 off 51) propelled Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to 186/5 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. After him, Harry Brook (27 off 19) was the second-best scorer for SRH. Both Klaasen and Brook stitched a quickfire stand of 74 runs for the fourth wicket.

Put in to bat first, Sunrisers Hyderabad were off to a slow start as RCB pacers Mohammed Siraj and Wayne Parnell kept the openers -- Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi -- on a tight leash.

SRH got some momentum in Parnell's second over with the openers hitting the pacer for 16 runs. However, New Zealand spinner Michael Bracewell dismissed both openers in his first over to put a halt to the scoring rate.

Abhishek (11) got out while playing a cut shot while Tripathi (15) could only loft his shot to short fine-leg for a catch, leaving SRH at 28/2 after 4.3 overs. In-form Heinrich Klaasen then came to the party and hammered Shahbaz Ahmed for 16 off his first over, as SRH ended the Power-play with 49-2.

The decision from SRH management to send the in-form batter Klaasen up the order paid dividends as he continued his aggressive approach which resulted in a flurry of fours and sixes. On the other hand, skipper Aiden Markram was enjoying the show from the other end and happily playing the second fiddle as SRH raced to 81/2 after 10 overs.

In the very next over, Klaasen hit leg-spinner Karn Sharma for a six and took a few singles to complete his half-century in just 24 balls. RCB desperately needed a wicket and it was Shahbaz Ahmed, who broke the 76-run stand by removing Markram.

Despite taking Markram's wicket, RCB didn't get any respite and new batter Harry Brook also looked in fine touch from the very first ball, which he faced. Brook, who made a comeback to the side after missing a few games, played some classy shots to get sixes and boundaries. On the other hand, Klaasen was in no mood to stop and took the RCB bowlers to the cleaners with SRH reaching 133/3 after 15 overs.

The decision to bring Shahbaz in the 17th over by captain Faf Du Plessis backfired as both Klaasen and Brook clobbered him for 19 runs. Parnell gave big relief to RCB by conceding just 7 runs in his over.

Klaasen eventually smashed a poor delivery by Harshal for a straight six and got his ton off 49 balls.

However, Harshal had the last laugh as he bowled a dipping yorker to dismiss Klaasen. Siraj, who was playing on his home ground, then bowled an excellent over, giving just 4 runs and taking the wicket of Glenn Phillips, to keep Sunrisers to 186-5 in 20 overs.

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Openers Anchor Bangalore's Chase

Chasing 187 to win, openers Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis gave RCB a flying start, scoring 64/0 after 6 overs. It was Kohli, who started the show for RCB, hitting four boundaries in the first two overs bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Abhishek Sharma.

Natarajan bowled a decent over to concede just 7 runs. However, both Du Plessis and Kohli went after Kartik Tyagi, hammering the young pacer for four boundaries in an over. During the process, Faf miscued his shot but Glenn Philips couldn't get a hold of the ball.

Both Kohli and Faf pierced the gaps with surgical precision and kept on picking boundaries at their will as RCB were moving strongly in the run chase. With runs flowing from both ends, SRH skipper Markram was forced to make frequent bowling changes. Against debutant Nitish Kumar, spinner Mayank Dagar, openers were a bit cautious but they kept the score-board ticking to take RCB to 95/0 after 10 overs.

Philips came to bowl the 12th over and both Kohli and Faf completed their respective fifties in that over and RCB were cruising towards the title. It seemed like RCB brought their clinical best to the business end of the tournament courtesy Kohli and Du Plessis, who continued their batting carnage as the chasing team were 150/0 after 15 overs.

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Nothing was going in SRH's favour as Virat brought his fantastic century after a long wait of four years. It was Kohli's sixth hundred in the IPL, drawing level with Chris Gayle and he stitched a massive opening partnership of 172 runs with Faf du Plessis.

In the very next delivery after his century, Kohli got out to Bhuvneshwar in the fifth ball of the 18th over but he had done more than enough for his side. Though Du Plessis was dismissed by Natarajan in the next over, the likes of Glenn Maxwell (5 not out) and Michael Bracewell (4 not out) took RCB over the victory line with four balls to spare.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Virat Kohli   IPL 2023 

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