Bengaluru: Virat Kohli made his much-awaited IPL 2017 debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Friday.
RCB have not had their way this Indian Premier League season, having lost two of their three matches played so far, and looked a bit lost without their leader. Kohli, having recovered from his shoulder injury, was greeted by a loud cheer when he came out for the toss. He opened the innings for RCB along with Chris Gayle and made an instant impact, notching his 27th IPL fifty in the game against Mumbai at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
After a circumspect start in the first two overs, Kohli took the attack to the opposition with Tim Southee the first bowler to come under fire. The Indian and RCB captain smashed a full-length over the long-on to notch his first maximum of the tournament. After a double off the next ball, Southee’s next two deliveries were carted away for boundaries as Kohli took charge of the affairs.
Following a slow start, Gayle too started to flex his muscles but fell to Hardik Pandya in the 10th over. Mumbai bowlers bowled brilliantly to keep Kohli under check and AB de Villiers too found the going hard.
The RCB duo, who had taken the IPL by storm last season, tried once again to up the ante but were stopped in their tracks by some disciplined Mumbai bowling.
Kohli reached his 27th IPL fifty and seemed would kick on from there but Mitchell McClenaghan got his man on 62. De Villiers dropped early by Jos Buttler failed to cash-in and was sent packing by Krunal Pandya in 17th over.
RCB had a torrid time after the fall of Kohli and De Villiers, failing to find the boundary even once in the final five overs.
The hosts could manage just 32 runs in the last five overs and were restricted to 142 for five in their 20 overs.