Kohli half-century sets up Bengaluru chasing down Punjab in IPL

BENGALURU, India (AP) — Royal Challengers Bengaluru rode Virat Kohli’s 51st half-century in the Indian Premier League to beat Punjab Kings by four wickets on Monday.

After scoring a quiet 21 at Chennai in a losing cause on Friday, Kohli made a much noisier 77 off 49 balls to fire Bengaluru's chase.

Dinesh Karthik's unbeaten 28 off 10 balls carried Bengaluru home to 178-6 with four balls to spare.

Punjab posted a sub-par 176-6. Captain Shikhar Dhawan scored 45 and Shashank Singh made 21 off eight balls late in the innings.

Kohli, coming back after more than two months out to be with his wife for the birth of his second child, used his feet well to hit his trademark punching cover drives as Punjab paid the price for letting him escape twice.

In an eventful first over bowled by Sam Curran, Jonny Bairstow couldn’t hold onto a sharp overhead catch at first slip off the second ball Kohli faced. Rahul Chahar then spilled a tough one-handed catching opportunity at short midwicket when Kohli was on 33.

Despite Kohli’s dominant innings, Punjab rallied in the middle overs through Harpreet Brar (2-13), and the required rate soared to nearly 12 an over. Brar clean-bowled Rajat Patidar (18) and Glenn Maxwell (3) and held onto a sharp catch of Kohli at deep point in the 16th over.

But Karthik and impact player Mahipal Lamor, 17 not out, smacked 48 runs off the last 18 balls for Bengaluru.

Earlier, Mohammed Siraj (2-26) and Yash Dayal (1-23) bowled well up front and kept the Punjab batters in check as Dhawan struggled to up the ante before holing out in the deep to Maxwell (2-29).


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