AB, Kohli prey on hapless Gujarat Lions

Skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers devoured Gujarat Lions' bowling and set it a gargantuan target of 249. Kohli and de Villiers put on a 229-run stand in 16 overs. Pressured by the huge target, Lions buckled to 104 in 18.4 overs, giving RCB a 144-run win.

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli destroyed the Gujarat Lions bowling attack, putting on a 229-run partnership in 16 overs.

The sight of a ferocious predator devouring its prey evokes a sense of pity. The laws of the jungle must be obeyed, but the savage death of a hapless being does make the stomach churn.

The Gujarat Lions bowling unit met with a similarly gruesome end, taken apart limb by limb by the ferocious pair of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. Even as the pacers and spinners marked the start of their run-up, there was a chilling conviction among those present at the Chinnaswamy Stadium that the entire process was futile. Regardless of what was hurled at them, the batsmen had a destructive response.

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RCB skipper Kohli (109, 55b, 5x4, 8x6) and de Villiers (129 n.o., 52b, 10x4, 12x6) showed no mercy. While the final 11 overs went at a run-rate of nearly 17, the last 18 deliveries cost a whopping 75 runs.

Kohli notched his third hundred of the tournament, and watched in glee as his partner recorded the highest IPL score of the season. The 229-run second-wicket stand, which came off 97 balls, took RCB to an astronomical 248 for three. In reply, Gujarat was bowled out for 104, falling out of contention quite early in the chase. English speedster Chris Jordan picked up four scalps, and leggie Yuzvendra Chahal finished with figures of three for 19.

This encounter, however, was all about the RCB innings. It marked the first time - in the history of this event - that two batters from the same side posted a century. The nightmare just did not end for the visitor - if de Villiers didn't get you, Kohli would.

Nothing exemplified this better than the 18th and 19th overs, bowled by medium-pacer Dwayne Bravo and chinaman exponent Shivil Kaushik respectively. Bravo and Kaushik were hammered for 30 runs each, leaving Gujarat captain Brendon McCullum resigned to a horrible fate. A short while earlier, he could do nothing to prevent de Villiers from taking 23 runs off Praveen Kumar - an incredible sequence which included a paddle-sweep which landed on the stadium roof.

And to think, the home side had put on just 42 runs in the Powerplay, with Chris Gayle being dismissed for his fifth straight single-digit score.

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