Virat Kohli during his unbeaten knock of 90 runs in Dubai.

DUBAI: Skipper Virat Kohli hit an unbeaten 90 as Royal Challengers Bangalore outplayed Chennai Super Kings by 37 runs in the Indian Premier League on Saturday. Kohli held the innings strong despite early losses including AB de Villiers for nought and a slow start to take the attack to the opposition in Bangalore's 169 for four in Dubai. The star batsman scored his second half-century of the IPL season and exploded in the last four overs to help Bangalore get 66 runs as Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Chennai lost the plot.

"It was one of our more complete performances," man of the match Kohli said after leading Bangalore to their fourth win of the season in six matches. "We spoke at the time out that around 150 would be great. When you don't get too far ahead of the game, it rewards you. "If you're in at the death overs and you have a score and you're hitting it well, you can capitalise well. That was something for us to learn tonight."

Bangalore's South African paceman Chris Morris led a disciplined bowling attack with figures of 3-19 from his four overs to keep down Chennai to 132 for eight at the end of 20 overs. Ambati Rayudu top-scored with 42 but the top and the middle order faltered including Dhoni scoring just 10 runs in Chennai's fifth loss in seven games. "I think the last four overs when we were bowling (didn't go to plan), before that the bowlers had done a good job, we needed to close in nicely," said a disappointed Dhoni.

"Batting has been bit of a worry and today also it was evident. We need to do something about it. I think we are better off playing the other way round, playing the bigger shots even if you get out." Coach Stephen Fleming said the team needs to bat with more "intent" in the upcoming games and the play-off race will get "further away" if the three-time IPL champions keep playing like this. Kohli stood out with a well-paced knock as he scored fifty in 39 balls and then smashed the bowlers to all parts of the ground with four fours and four sixes in his 52-ball stay.

"What fun that was to watch Kohli. Not just the shots but the running (between the wickets)!," veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle wrote on Twitter. Earlier in the first match of the day, skipper Dinesh Karthik led by example with a blazing 58 to set up Kolkata Knight Riders' narrow two-run win over Kings XI Punjab. Karthik top-scored to guide Kolkata to 164 for six, a total their bowlers defended by restricting Kings XI Punjab to 162-5 in Abu Dhabi.

Kolkata's Narine reported
Meanwhile, West Indies spinner Sunil Narine has been reported for suspect bowling action in the Indian Premier League during his team Kolkata Knight Riders' narrow win on Saturday. Narine stood out with figures of 2-28 from his four overs of his mystery spin to choke Kings XI Punjab's chase of 165 as Kolkata won by two runs in the first match of the day in Abu Dhabi. "The report was made by the on-field umpires (Ulhas Gandhe and Chris Gaffaney) according to the IPL's Suspected Illegal Bowling Action Policy," said an IPL statement. "Mr Narine will be placed on the Warning List and is permitted to continue to bowl in the tournament."

Another report for the 32-year-old Narine will make him ineligible to bowl in the Twenty20 tournament until cleared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India's suspect bowling action committee. Narine has been reported for chucking several times during his nine-year-old international career and was barred from bowling in 2015 by the International Cricket Council but came back with a re-modeled action. But his action was once again under scrutiny in the 2018 Pakistan Super League. - Agencies