Kohli battles injury to lead RCB to thumping win over KKR

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Kolkata—Red-hot Virat Kohli smashed an unbeaten half-century last night to break Chris Gayle’s record for the most runs in a single Indian Premier League season.
Kohli, captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, racked up 752 runs in 12 matches so far this year including three centuries and five 50s. His 75-run blitz on Monday kept the Challengers’ play-off hopes alive after they crushed the Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets.
The Indian batsman overtakes the powerful Gayle, who scored 733 runs in 15 matches in 2012, while Australia’s Mike Hussey tallied the same figure in 17 games in 2013. Kohli, who batted with an injured finger, stitched together a 115-run unbeaten stand with AB de Villiers (59).
Their partnership comes just two days after they recorded the highest partnership (229) in T20 cricket history during the Challengers’ match against the Gujarat Lions.
Chasing Kolkata’s 183/5, they got off to a flyer as Gayle – who had been in slumber for much of this season – smashed the ball to all parts of the ground. The burly Jamaican first took on Andre Russell hitting him for 17 in the third over and then clubbed Sunil Narine for two consecutive fours in the fifth. After six overs, Bangalore were cruising at 63 for no loss but then Gayle was adjudged leg-before-wicket off a Narine delivery.
It was difficult to understand who the home team were as chants of ‘Kohli, Kohli’ went up time and again around the packed stadium as the Bangalore captain came in – and did not disappoint either as he picked the boundaries at regular intervals. However, Kohli was dropped at 32 by his opposite number Gautam Gambhir.
The miss proved costly as Kohli got to yet another half-century, while his partner at the other end – de Villiers – started clobbering them too.
Kohli suffered a split in his webbing during the first innings but battled on to score his fifth half-century of the season. He also went on to break Chris Gayle’s record (733) of most number of runs scored in a season. Kohli now has 752 runs in this season.—AFP

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