Quinton de Kock smashed the first century of the ongoing Indian Premier League to power Delhi Daredevils to a comprehensive seven wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Chasing an imposing 192 for win, De Kock blazed his way to 108 off just 51 balls with the help off a whopping 15 boundaries and three sixes and in the company of young Karun Nair (54 off 42) added 134 runs off 12.4 overs for the third wicket to help Darvedevils overwhelm the target with five balls to spare.
However, the Daredevils did not have the best of starts as they lost Shreyas Iyer early, courtesy a brilliant cor-ordinated catch between Shane Watson and David Wiese at the long-off boundary off Sreenath Aravind’s final delivery of the first over off the innings.
Next in Sanju Samson too did not last long as he offered a regulation catch to Yuzvendra Chahal at midwicket off Watson (2/25) in the sixth over with Daredevils score at 50 for two in 5.4 overs.
But thereafter it was all De Kock and Nair show as duo took the below-par RCB attack to task and played real cricketing shots, helped by some luck to keep Daredevils in the hunt on a small ground.
De Kock might have been the architect of Daredevils chase with his brilliant century but credit should also go to young Nair who gave the South African able support from the other end and in the process struck six boundaries and a six to remain unbeaten on 54.
Earlier, Virat Kohli played a captain’s knock with a quickfire 79, while A B de Villers made a brisk 55 before Delhi Daredevils pulled things back a little towards the end to restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore to 191 for five.
At the M Chinnaswmay Stadium where the average score is 200 plus, RCB at one stage looked on course to achieve the target when Kohli and De Villiers were going great guns before Daredevils made some sort of a comeback.
Kohli’s 79 came off just 48 balls with the help of seven boundaries and three sixes, while De Villiers took just 33 deliveries en route to his half-century during which he struck nine fours and one hit over the fence.
Electing to bowl, captain Zaheer Khan (1/50) gave a dream start to Daredevils by removing dangerous Chris Gayle of the third ball of the innings for a duck.
Zaheer lured Gayle with a perfect outswinger to induce an edge and JP Duminy took a brilliant diving catch at the first slip to send back the big-hitting left-hander.
But then came in De Villiers and he struck Zaheer for two consecutive boundaries to make his intentions clear.
Thereafter, it was all RCB as captain Kohli and De Villiers went hammer and tongs to stitch 106 runs off just 65 balls to power the hosts forward.
It was De Villiers who started off the pounding but Kohli matched his partner stroke for stroke as the duo went about their business in quick fashion against the hapless RCB attack.
De Villers made quickfire fifty before he was holed out by Mohammad Shami off Carlos Brathwaite (1/18) at long-on in the 12th over.
New man in Watson (33 off 19) too looked in ominous form as he smashed Brathwaite for a six and two fours in three consecutive balls.
Kohli was as usual at his agressive best as he smacked Zaheer for two sixes and as many boundaries in the 16th over.
But just when it seemed the powerful RCB batting unit will run away with the game, RCB lost two wickets—Watson and Sarfaraz Khan—in the next over.
Kohli was the last RCB batsman to depart in search of quick runs, caught by Iyer off Shami (2/34).