Superstar Kohli steers Bangalore into IPL playoffs
NEW DELHI: Star batsman Virat Kohli Wednesday steered Royal Challengers Bangalore to a six-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils to book a spot in the playoff stage of the cash rich Indian Premier League.
Kohli, who is the highest run scorer in the tournament, made an unbeaten 54 runs off 45 balls while chasing 139 runs at the last league match of the the T20 tournament at central Indian city of Raipur.
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Delhi opener and South African Quinton de Kock’s 60 run knock and an unbeaten 27 run finish by his teammate Chris Morris helped Delhi put a decent score on the board.
But Kohli steadily took his team towards the target with 11 balls remaining in the innings after openers Jamaican Chris Gayle and South African AB de Villiers were back in the dugout with just 17 runs on the board.
Wicketkeeper Lokesh Rahul made 38 runs before he was bowled by West Indian Carlos Brathwaite.
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Bangalore is placed on the second spot in the points table and will play top ranked Gujarat Lions in the first qualifier on Tuesday.
In the first game on Sunday, Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 22-runs confirming their berth in the playoffs.
Kolkata scored 171 runs, with all rounder Yusuf Pathan making an unbeaten 52 off 34 balls in front of the home crowd in Eden Gardens.
In reply, except for a 51 run knock by Shikhar Dhawan, Hyderabad batsmen failed to score runs against a spin attack led by West Indian Sunil Narine, who took 3 for 26.
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Kolkata’s win also dashed the hopes of Mumbai Indians to reach the next stage.
Mumbai lost to Gujarat Lions on Saturday by six wickets, with captain Suresh Raina making a brilliant 58 runs while chasing 172.
The top four teams will now battle it out in the two qualifiers and one eliminator to make the cut for the finals on May 29.
In the eliminator round Hyderabad will clash with Kolkata on Wednesday.
The loser of the first qualifier will take on the winner of the eliminator in qualifier 2 on Friday.
The final will be played between winner of qualifier 1 and winner of qualifier 2 on Sunday.