Virat Kohli and skipper Faf du Plessis hit blazing half-centuries to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore to a thumping eight-wicket drubbing of Mumbai Indians in the IPL on Sunday.
Chasing 172 for victory, Kohli (82 not out) and Du Plessis (73) put on a 148-run opening stand as Bangalore romped home in 16.2 overs in front of a raucous home crowd.
The pair bossed the chase from the start with some assured strokemaking and regular boundaries to open this season’s Indian Premier League campaign in style.
Du Plessis reached his fifty with a six and Kohli, who last month hit a Test ton after 1,205 days, was not far behind when he raised his half-century in 38 balls.
Five-time winners Mumbai looked clueless despite the presence of Jason Behrendorff, who came in as the “impact player” ahead of their bowling innings, and the returning England fast bowler Jofra Archer.
Du Plessis smashed six sixes in his 43-ball knock before departing in the 15th over.
New man Dinesh Karthik soon fell for a duck off Mumbai’s big-buy Cameron Green.
Glenn Maxwell then struck two sixes and Kohli smacked the winning hit over the fence as Bangalore started their hunt for a maiden IPL title in season 16 of the cash-rich T20 tournament.
Mohammed Siraj led an inspired bowling attack with figures of 1-21 to keep down five-time winners Mumbai to 171-7 despite an unbeaten 84 by Indian talent Tilak Varma.
Varma, a 20-year-old uncapped India batsman, took charge after an early collapse when Mumbai lost their top three including Green (5) and skipper Rohit Sharma (1) inside six overs after being invited to bat first.
Australia’s Green, who was the second-most expensive buy after Mumbai forked out $2.11 million in the auction, was bowled by England left-arm quick Reece Topley.
Rohit lasted 10 balls before Akash Deep got the star batsman caught behind for one as Mumbai slipped to 20-3.
Bangalore suffered a blow when Topley awkwardly landed on his right shoulder while fielding and left the ground with the physio.
Topley was believed to have suffered a dislocated shoulder, which was put back in place but the 2.01 metre tall (6 feet and 5 inches) player was ruled out of the rest of the match.
Bangalore kept chipping away as New Zealand import Michael Bracewell sent back T20 sensation Suryakumar Yadav for 15 before Varma played a defiant 46-ball knock.