IPL

Kohli and Du Plessis dominate Mumbai Indians as RCB make flying IPL start

By Sports Desk April 02, 2023

A superb opening stand from Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis ensured Royal Challengers Bangalore cruised to an eight-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League opener.

Having fallen just short of the IPL final last year, RCB got their 2023 campaign off to a terrific start, dominating their opponents on both sides of the ball at The Mangalam Chinnaswamy Stadium.

RCB made a fast start with the ball, with Harshal Patel well-placed to claim an outside edge from Ishan Kishan (10) before Reece Topley bowled Cameron Green (5), though a bizarre collision between Dinesh Karthik and Mohammed Siraj saw the latter inexplicably drop Rohit Sharma.

Rohit was less fortunate when he handed Karthik a catch for just one run three balls later, though his exit allowed Tilak Varma to step up with a quickfire 84 off 46 balls, carrying Mumbai to 171-7.

That outstanding effort proved to be in vain, however, with Du Plessis (73) and Kohli (82 not out) putting on a strong opening stand of 148, both bringing up half-centuries by the end of the 12th over.

While skipper Du Plessis walked with five overs remaining, lofting through to Tim David for a simple catch, Mumbai never looked likely to break the momentum of RCB, who recorded a statement win.

Varma wastes no time

In dragging Mumbai to a respectable tally with his knock of 84, Varma averaged a boundary every 3.5 deliveries.

Only Jos Buttler – who struck a boundary every 2.2 balls in the Rajasthan Royals' win over Sunrisers Hyderabad – has posted a better such rate in the early stages of the IPL this season, with Varma hitting nine fours and four sixes from the 46 balls he faced.

Unfortunately for the 20-year-old, RCB's top-order batsmen were in similar form as Mumbai failed to build any momentum with the ball.

Fifty up for Kohli

RCB never looked likely to fall short in their chase of 172, with Kohli taking centre-stage to bring up a personal IPL landmark.  

With his knock of 82 runs from 49 balls, Kohli recorded his 50th score of 50 runs or more in the IPL. Only David Warner (60) has more half-centuries in the competition's history.

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