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IPL 2018: Virat Kohli blasts his fastest T20 half-century, 31st for RCB

India Today logo India Today 15/04/2018 Rajarshi Gupta
© AP Photo

Virat Kohli roared back to form with a 26-ball half-century, his fastest in T20 cricket as Royal Challengers chased 218 against Rajasthan Royals at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

This was Kohli's 31st half-century in the Indian Premier League. However, Virat's record fifty failed to prevent Rajasthan Royals from registering their second successive win of the season as they beat Roya Challengers Bangalore by 19 runs.

Kohli, who had been rested from the Nidahas Trophy after the tour of South Africa, where he scored 871 runs across formats, looked scratchy against Kolkata Knight Riders during his innings of 31. Against Kings XI Punjab, Kohli had looked in better touch during his knock of 21 but his innings was cut short by Mujeeb ur Rahman.

However, the RCB skipper came out all guns blazing in Bengaluru as the hosts faced a record run-chase. No team has chased more than 217 but Kohli was determined to set a record.

He had been in sensational form in 2016, smashing 973 including four hundreds and seven half-centuries from 16 matches. Next year, nursing a shoulder injury, Kohli did not play the first four matches. He returned to score 308 runs from 10 matches but it was not enough to revive a poor season for the Royal Challengers.

It was different this time. Kohli was in sensational form in South Africa - he was the highest run-scorer in the Test series and then smashed a few records in the ODIs. In six matches, he hammered 558 runs and four centuries to lead India to a historic series triumph. He played two T20Is in the three-match series next but opted out as India sent a relatively inexperienced team to Sri Lanka for the Nidahas Trophy.

During the break, Kohli saw his wife Anushka Sharma's latest movie, visited a tattoo parlour and got a new haircut. In fact, he did not touch his cricket kit for three weeks.

On Sunday, it was the Kohli the world is used to watching. He was fluent and timed some crisp shots to the delight of the packed stands. He eventually fell for 57 off 30 balls, leaving the Chinnaswamy crowd stunned.

Photos: Virat Kohli in the IPL

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