Padikkal told me to finish off the match and not worry about his hundred: Kohli

Written by Vishwas Gupta

In a batting performance which will be remembered for long, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) chased down 178-run target against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in just 16.3 overs and without losing any wicket.

Rajasthan were 109 for 5 in 13.3 overs but all-rounder Rahul Tewatia scored 23-ball 40 to help the 2008 champions post 177 for 9 in 20 overs. Tewatia’s innings was expected to motivate Rajasthan in the 2nd half of the match but some supreme display of battings from captain Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal light up the Wankhede Stadium in the most dazzling fashion.

In a rare occasion, Virat Kohli had to take a back seat and enjoy the batting of his young opener from the best possible seat in the stadium. 20-year-old Padikkal crushed the RR bowlers and played shots in all the corners of the ground on his whims and fancies.

A fifty came in just 27 balls and very soon the batsman was found batting on 91 off 47 balls. RCB were in need of just 16 runs off 30 balls at that stage and Kohli was in his elements, middling the ball like an artist.

It was at that moment when Padikkal asked the star cricketer to finish off the match and not think about his maiden IPL hundred. The captain also gave his verdict — ‘Get to it (hundred) first’.

“We spoke about it (on the 100). He told me to finish it off, I told him to get to it first. He said many will come, I said yea you can say that after you get to the landmark. He deserved to get the three-figure mark,” Virat Kohli said in the post-match presentation ceremony after the 10-wicket win over Rajasthan.

“It was an outstanding innings. He batted really well for his first season last time. There was a lot of talk about him not accelerating after getting to 30s. He’s put all that to rest. It was a good pitch to bat on to be honest, and him being tall meant that bowlers struggled with their lengths. T20 cricket is always about partnership cricket. You can’t always go big from the word go. When one guy is going well, it’s important for me to ensure that I don’t lose my wicket. It can change on other days,” Kohli added.

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Vishwas Gupta