Royal Challengers Bangalore overshadowed the brilliance of Heinrich Klaasen’s hundred through an ebullient Virat Kohli century on Thursday to take a big leap towards the IPL 2023 playoffs.
The 8-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium swelled RCB’s points to 14 from 13 matches and they will face Gujarat Titans in their last league match at Bangalore on Sunday (May 21).
RCB boost chances of reaching playoffs
While the talk about playoff calculations can be done through a different topic link, the win over a rudderless SRH certainly boosted RCB’s standing on the table, as they are now placed 4th behind already qualified GT, Chennai Super Kings (15 points) and Lucknow Supergiants (15 points). Additionally, the victory has also given a good boost to RCB’s net run rate.
For that position of relative strength, Royal Challengers should thank their most experienced batters, Virat Kohli (100 off 63 balls) and Faf du Plessis (71 off 47 balls) who milked 172 runs for the opening alliance.
The Hyderabad pitch largely remained true and the kind of form he has been in IPL 2023, Faf did not need any second invitation to exploit and score runs at will.
Kohli, Faf slay slay SRH bowlers
Faf had the perfect foil in Kohli and the latter produced an innings full of glittering shots, and a lofted drive over extra cover off Bhuvneshwar Kumar stood out from the rest for its perfection and elegance.
The Sunrisers bowlers just did not have the bite to halt the free-hitting RCB duo. As the match progressed, it became evident that the 186 for 5 that the Hyderabad side made was vastly under par.
The RCB have often been accused of relying too much on their top batting stars, but on this day even the critics might have appreciated the way Kohli and Faf dismantled the Hyderabad attack.
King Kohli proves his mettle once again
But the radiance of Kohli’s knock put to shade a glittering innings by Klaasen, who made 104 off just 51 balls with 8 fours and 6 sixes. The South African was exceptional against RCB spinners Karn Sharma and Shahbaz Ahmed, carting them around which earned a quick praise on Twitter by AB de Villiers.
On a different night, Klaasen’s innings would have fetched brighter results. But when Kohli slipped into his familiar ‘Chasemaster’ avatar, the conclusion also had a familiar ending.
Heinrich Klaasen the find for SRH in IPL 2023
Earlier, Klaasen forged a 76-run partnership with Aiden Markram (18) before adding another 74 off 36 balls with Harry Brook (27 not out) to take SRH to a competitive total.
Klaasen hammered eight fours and six maximums to help the hosts reach 186 for 5 in 20 overs after RCB opted to bowl first.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)