Virat Kohli returned to form and Shreyas Iyer hit an electrifying half century as both captains led their teams to the top of the Indian Premier League.
Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore and Iyer’s Delhi Capitals have six points each, with three wins from four games.
Kohli ended his disappointing batting run at this year’s IPL with an unbeaten 72 that earned Bangalore an emphatic eight-wicket victory over the Rajasthan Royals at Abu Dhabi.
Twenty-year-old Devdutt Padikkal’s third half century in four games, and Kohli’s first half century this season, carried Bangalore to 2-158 in 19.1 overs in a well-measured run chase in hot and humid conditions.
Earlier, Rajasthan had recovered from losing three early wickets through Mahipal Lomror (47) and Rahul Tewatia’s unbeaten 24 off 12 balls to post 6-154.
Rajasthan skipper Steve Smith managed just five with the bat while Australia’s T20 skipper, Aaron Finch, fared little better for RCB, scoring eight off seven balls.
Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa finished with 0-27 from three overs for RCB.
Later on Saturday, Delhi didn’t let Iyer’s 38-ball unbeaten 88 go to waste in a narrow 18-run win against the Kolkata Knight Riders in a run feast at Sharjah.
Iyer hit seven fours and six sixes while Prithvi Shaw (66) and Rishabh Pant (38) also made useful contributions as Delhi piled up this season’s highest score of 4-228.
Eoin Morgan (44 off 18 balls) and Rahul Tripathi (36 off 16) nearly upstaged Iyer’s brilliant batting with a late charge before South African seamer Anrich Nortje (3-33) dismissed Morgan in the 19th over and Kolkata’s chase ended at 8-210 off 20 overs.
Once again, the Australians made little impact on the match. Pat Cummins finished with figures of 0-49 and scored five with the bat for Kolkata, while Marcus Stoinis scored one and took 1-46. (Courtesy cricket.com.au)