In an extraordinary feat, Match No. 65 of the ongoing Indian Premier League 2023 witnessed two magnificent centuries, thus testifying to the tough nature of the game. As Sunrisers Hyderabad hosted Royal Challengers Bangalore in a must-win game for the latter, Heinrich Klaasen’s blistering century in the first innings was overshadowed by the blitzkrieg of RCB openers, who held control of the game all throughout the second innings.
Riding on the extravagant show by RCB openers, the visitors inflicted an eight-wicket defeat upon SRH, to not only put a step forward to breaking into the playoffs but also give effect to an improvement in the Net Run Rate. Virat Kohli stole the show in the second innings with his first century of the season.
Let’s look at the Talking Points from today’s game –
Heinrich Klaasen hammers first IPL century to put RCB on backfoot
After yet another poor show from the SRH openers, their South African import, Heinrich Klaasen, starred with the willow for the hosts, scoring the bulk of the runs for them which propelled them to a competitive total of 186. In the process, Klaasen smashed his first century of the tournament, scoring 104 runs off 51 balls.
He stabilised the flow of SRH’s batting by stitching a 76-run partnership with Aiden Markram for the third innings. While most of the other batters failed to put up a show, Klaasen stood in the middle as SRH’s lone warrior. His explosive show included eight fours and six sixes.
Virat Kohli’s masterclass helps RCB steal the match with a boost in Net Run Rate
Heinrich Klaasen’s power-puffed show required an equal, if not better, antidote from the RCB camp as well, which was exactly what was executed by Virat Kohli. Kohli, who was already having a great run in the ongoing tournament, bettered it with his magnificent 100-run knock against SRH. He brought up his sixth IPL century overall and first of the season to drive RCB’s successful run-chase.
His century knock was crafted with the help of 12 fours and four sixes before he gave out his wicket to Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 18th over while attempting to clear the ropes for an early accomplishment of their target ahead.
Faf du Plessis rides on unprecedented consistency to bring up yet another half-century in IPL 2023
RCB skipper Faf du Plessis, who has been in sensational form in the ongoing season, once again lived up to the reputation that he has earned over his illustrious career, and perfectly complemented Kohli to put up the highest partnership of the ongoing IPL edition. For the first wicket, du Plessis and Kohli put up 172 runs in just 107 deliveries.
Du Plessis played a brilliant 71-run innings, which came off just 47 deliveries. He brought up those runs at a strike rate of 151.06, with the help of seven fours and two sixes.
Losing captain, Aiden Markram said –
We batted pretty well. We could have found a little runs out there in the powerplay. Great contribution from Klaasen. But still was a good score. Great support for not just us but for RCB as well. We couldn’t give them a win. We all hate losing. We would be out there looking for a win. Hopefully have smiles at the end of the campaign. Great knock from Faf and Virat. We had a look at some guys moving forward. Probably one less option in the powerplay. Kartik was put under pressure. The plans were in place but the execution didn’t fall in place. Mayank was impressive. Special knock from Klaasen. Super happy for the guy. I don’t think he would have dreamed of getting a hundred in the IPL. Unfortunately ended in a losing cause.
Winning captain, Faf du Plessis said –
Amazing chase isn’t it! That’s my first reaction. Did feel walking off after first innings that it was a very good wicket. Felt 200 was a par score. Not many balls turned for the spinners. We’re doing the right things from a batting perspective. In previous game we were also clinical with the ball. We complement each other really well (partnership with Kohli). We play in very different areas so it’s difficult to bowl to. We’re good mates on and off the field. We’re going back to Chinnaswamy which will be an amazing game. A lot of fans coming in and another must-win for us.
Player of the Match, Virat Kohli said –
Quite special considering the magnitude of the game. Thought SRH got a very good score. Ball was gripping as well. Faf’s been on a different level. I’ve had a quiet couple of games. The way I was hitting in the nets wasn’t transitioning into the middle. Never look at past records (not great numbers against SRH). I put myself under so much stress already. I don’t care what anyone says on the outside. I’ve never been a guy who plays so many fancy shots. It’s Test cricket after the IPL. Have to stay true to my technique. (On why Faf and him work) I think it’s the tattoos. Very similar to how AB and me batting together. There’s a good sense of where we are and how to take the game forward. It’s been a beautiful transition. Blessed and grateful for the support. I told Faf that it was like a home game, cheering for RCB and taking my name as well. I feel you can’t create this. I’m myself on the field and think it resonates with the people. Great to see people happy when I perform.