Phil Salt came up with an outrageous display of ball striking as Delhi Capitals kept themselves alive in the Indian Premier League with a thumping seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in New Delhi on Saturday.
Virat Kohli (55 off 56) completed his ‘homecoming’ with a landmark fifty before Mahipal Lomror (54 not out off 29) came up with a career-best knock to take Royal Challengers Bangalore to 181 for four.
Needing to win every game from here on to have a shot at a play-off berth, Delhi’s overseas batters played fearlessly to gun down the total in 16.4 overs.
Besides Salt’s sensational 87 off 45 balls, David Warner (22 off 14), Mitchell Marsh (26 off 17) and Rilee Rossouw (29 not out off 21) produced timely cameos.
It was Delhi’s second consecutive win and they need to win their remaining four games while RCB suffered their fifth loss in 10 matches.
Salt and Warner came out all guns blazing as Delhi raced to 60 for no loss in five overs. The fifth over in which Mohammad Siraj conceded 19 runs gave Delhi the initial advantage and RCB could not fight back from there.
The premier India fast bowler could have avoided a heated exchange with Salt after the latter smashed him for couple of sixes and a four.
The flat six over extra cover off Siraj stood out in Salt’s special innings.
Delhi’s performance also highlighted their dependance on the foreign players with the Indian batters under-performing.
Earlier, Kohli mania swept the Feroz Shah Kotla as Delhi fans, on another day, were seen wearing the RCB jersey of their favourite player.
The star batter ensured they did not return home disappointed with a 55 off 46 balls, his sixth half century of the season, before Lomror played some breathtaking shots on way to his highest score in the IPL.
Kohli also became the first player to amass 7000 runs in the tournament history.
Both Kohli and Faf du Plessis (45 off 32), who have done the bulk of the scoring for RCB this season, took their time to get going in the powerplay.
Khaleel Ahmed bowled one short and wide in the opening over and Kohli was happy to put it past David Warner at mid off for his first boundary.
Among the highlights of Kohli’s innings was a pull and inside out shot he played off his Delhi mate Ishant Sharma.
Delhi Capitals were able to keep the high profile openers quiet till the fourth over.
Du Plessis, who hardly got balls in the first three overs, stepped out to Mukesh Kumar for a straight hit before unleashing a forehand. What followed was a mishit off a short ball, resulting in the third boundary of the over.
The sixth over from Khaleel was even more productive for RCB as du Plessis played an expansive straight drive off a full toss for the first six of the game. The two overs gave RCB a much needed move as they reached for 51 for no loss in the powerplay.
With du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell dismissed off successive deliveries in the 11th over bowled by Mitchell Marsh, a top heavy RCB found themselves in a spot of bother.
However, the pressure was released by Lomror instantly as he played some bold strokes in his whirlwind effort. Anything short ball was punished over the mid-wicket region as he collected sixes off Marsh and Kuldeep. His down the ground six off a full ball from Kuldeep made it clear that the southpaw was ‘in the zone’.
Kohli reached his 50 off 42 balls but it was Lomror who provided the momentum in the middle overs. The 23-year-old reached his maiden fifty of the IPL with a crisp drive between extra cover and mid-off fielder.