England’s Jacks makes case for T20 World Cup inclusion with IPL ton for Bengaluru as Chennai win

AHMEDABAD: England’s Will Jacks on Sunday served a timely reminder for his inclusion in the T20 World Cup with a match-winning 41-ball 100 for IPL team Royal Challengers Bengaluru.
Jacks chalked up 10 sixes in his blitz as he put on an unbeaten stand of 166 with Virat Kohli, who hit 70.
Bengaluru chased down their victory target of 201 against Gujarat Titans with four overs and nine wickets to spare as Jacks hit the winning six, which also brought up his century.
In the second match of the day, skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad hit 98 to help holders Chennai Super Kings jump to third in the table with a 78-run hammering of Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The innings from Jacks and Gaikwad came just two days ahead of the International Cricket Council deadline of May 1 to announce teams for the T20 World Cup in June.
Bengaluru got their third win — and second in a row — in 10 matches so far this season, keeping their slim hopes of reaching the play-offs alive.
Jacks was on 16 when the in-form Kohli reached his fifty in 32 balls with a four off Rashid Khan, but soon the 25-year-old Englishman smashed three sixes and two fours in a 29-run 15th over from Mohit Sharma.
“Phenomenal. Initially when he came to bat, he was annoyed that he wasn’t able to strike the ball as he wanted to,” Kohli said after the win.
“The only talk was for him to stay calm; we know how explosive he can be when he gets going. The over from Mohit was the game changer, I was just happy to stay around and watch him go.”
Jacks then took on Rashid with four sixes and a four in the winning over.
The 35-year-old Kohli, who hit the first ton of this edition, reached 500 runs and was quick to slam critics who said the veteran batsman has struggled to meet modern T20 standards of power hitting.
“There’s a reason why you do it for 15 years. For me, it’s only about doing the work. People can talk anything they want to, they can talk about me not able to push on, not playing spin well, but you yourself know the game better,” Kohli said.
Kohli — who played the spinners with aplomb, including by using the sweep shot to good effect — and Bengaluru are still waiting for their first IPL title.
Bengaluru, who remain bottom of the 10-team table, elected to field first and Gujarat reached 200-3 in their 20 overs.
Sai Sudharsan hit an unbeaten 84 and put on key partnerships, including putting together 86 runs with Shahrukh Khan, who hit 58, and an unbeaten 69-run stand with David Miller, who made 26.
Glenn Maxwell returned to the Bengaluru line-up after a short “mental and physical break” of three matches, taking a wicket in his first over to return figures of 1-28 with his off-spin.
In match two, Chennai posted 212-3 courtesy of Gaikwad’s 54-ball knock and his key partnerships including a 107-run second-wicket stand with Daryl Mitchell, who hit 52.
Medium-pace bowler Tushar Deshpande led the bowling charge with four wickets as he helped bowl out Hyderabad for 134 in 18.5 overs.

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