Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan: Three different styles, each one compelling


Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers scored scorching half-centuries and Sarfaraz Khan played a delightful cameo for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016. Each innings was vastly different from the other in terms of style and execution, but each knock was compelling in its own way. While Kohli’s innings was the most conventional, de Villiers played his personal brand of offensive cricket, and Sarfaraz ended up offering a glimpse of exactly what he is capable of. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), IPL 2016, Match 4 at Bengaluru

Virat Kohli: Kohli walked out to open batting for RCB, and got a boundary in the first over. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed Chris Gayle in the next over, which made Kohli curb his shots for a while. With de Villiers going for his shots from the start, Kohli could afford to play watchfully. However, he did not let easy scoring shots go unpunished. He hit a boundary off a Bhuvneshwar half-volley in the fifth over and then leg-glanced one from Mustafizur to the fine leg boundary. Karn Sharma was dispatched over his head when he flighted one on middle stump. READ: Royal Challengers Bangalore thrash Sunrisers Hyderabad by 45 runs in IPL 2016

As is the case with him usually, Kohli did not play too many dot balls. He ensured the ones and twos kept coming, and once he got well set there was no stopping him. Kohli was on 42 off 36 balls when de Villiers was on 66 off 32. It was around the 13th over that Kohli took his scoring rate up a few levels. READ: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2016, Match 4 at Bangalore: Highlights

First, Karn was hit for a four and a six, then Henriques got the same treatment. By the time Kohli was dismissed, he had scored 75 from 51 balls with 7 fours and 3 sixes. The runs had come almost exclusively from conventional cricket shots. READ: IPL 2016: “My elder brother” Virat Kohli is an inspiration, says Mustafizur Rahman

AB de Villiers: With RCB losing Gayle early, de Villiers walked in at No. 3 with the scoreboard reading 6 for 1. The sixth ball de Villiers faced was pulled over mid-on. The next was sent over the ropes at long-on. A couple of balls later he got another boundary via a cut past point. Ashish Nehra had gone for 15 runs off the over. Of course, that was just the start for de Villiers.

Bhuvneshwar was sent over cover for six and then driven past mid-off for another boundary. Karn was slogged over midwicket twice in two balls, and Ashish Reddy was sent past long-on for back-to-back boundaries. Henriques was hit over cover and then pulled through square leg for consecutive boundaries. Reddy was soon slogged over midwicket and long-on for two sixes in the same over. It took a slower ball from Mustafizur to end de Villiers’ blitz. He was dismissed for 82 off 42 balls with 7 fours and 6 sixes.

Sarfaraz Khan: The 18-year-old Sarfaraz was nearly dismissed off the first ball he faced; he got a leading edge to point while trying to scoop one from Mustafizur to fine leg, but survived. Bhuvneshwar came on to bowl the penultimate over. Sarfaraz crunched a full toss past point for four. The next ball was another full toss that was paddled over fine leg. What followed was one of the most outstanding shots of the match; it was another full toss on middle stump, and this time Sarfaraz exposed all three stumps but played the ball off the face of the bat over third man for six. READ: Chris Gayle calls RCB teammate Sarfaraz Khan his son

The next was a paddled boundary to fine leg, while the final ball of the over was sent over cover for four more. Sarfaraz had hit 22 off 5 balls. Mustafizur bowled the final over, and Sarfaraz managed to smash the third ball over square leg for six and send the final ball of the innings through midwicket for four more. He finished with 35 not out from 10 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes.

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