Virat Kohli delivered on a promise made to close friend AB de Villiers. Before leaving the team hotel in Kolkata, Kohli told AB de Villiers he would score a hundred for him as Royal Challengers Bangalore faced a must-win match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens.
The odds were stacked up against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Before Friday, they had lost 7 out of their 8 matches. AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli’s most trusted ally, was ruled out of the game. And Virat Kohli had not scored another hundred after 4 centuries in the 2016 IPL. But he is man of his words.
After KKR decided to bowl, RCB were on the backfoot when Parthiv Patel and Akshdeep Nath were dismissed cheaply. Moeen Ali started the carnage with 3 sixes and 2 fours off Kuldeep Yadav’s final over before Kohli took over.
Virat Kohli had reached 50 off 40 balls; his next 50 came off 17 balls. Virat Kohli finally fell for a 58-ball hundred off the final ball of the innings. No other captain has scored 5 IPL hundreds. Other than Chris Gayle (6), no other player has more hundreds in the IPL. The 100 was of high quality and it could have only been made by a man of Virat Kohli’s stature.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have destroyed many bowling attacks together. On Friday, he was without his mate but he did not forget his promise.
“Before leaving, I told AB I will get a hundred for you, so he must be pretty happy,” Virat Kohli, also the man-of-the-match told the broadcasters.
AB de Villiers was pumped and he tweeted minutes after Kohli’s masterclass at the Eden Gardens.
AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) April 19, 2019
By the way, Virat Kohli also promised AB de Villiers a hug if RCB won. There would be plenty of that Friday night in the RCB camp.
Virat Kohli lauded Moeen Ali for his assault on the KKR bowling attack. He smashed 66 off 28 to give RCB the momentum they needed in the middle overs after a slow start. From 70 for 2 off 10 overs, RCB finished with 213 for 4 off 20.
“Moeen changed the game completely and that allowed me to play my game. Moeen said I am going to go now and I asked him to go for it.
“He targeted the small boundaries and changed the game in those few overs. It was important to bat along when AB is not here, as a senior player,” Kohli said after RCB secured their 2nd win of the 2019 Indian Premier League.
Virat Kohli has lost way too many games this season and he said it was a relief to finally win again. Andre Russell had exploded with Nitish Rana earlier in the evening – Virat Kohli had undoubtedly thought of the Russell carnage in Bengaluru 2 weeks ago when his sixes blitz helped KKR trump RCB in another high-scoring contest.
Back then, Virat Kohli was upset with his bowlers for not showing enough courage. On Friday night, he doffed his hat to Marcus Stoinis and Moeen Ali who held their nerves in the final 2 overs to deny Nitish Rana and Andre Russell.
“It felt really good, especially winning here. It was crucial for us to come here and get a win. Not walking to an interview straight after the game is a relief. You have to leave it to the bowler in those (end overs) situations. I think the way Stoinis bowled that 19th over was very good. Those three balls were crucial in the end, and in the end Moeen showed composure,” Kohli said.