At one stage RCB were stuttering, requiring more than 10-an-over. However, Ab de Villiers proved to be the difference between the two sides as he struck a match-winning 57 off 40 balls.
Batting second has become the winning formula for teams this season in the IPL as Royal Challengers Bangalore hung on till the end to squeeze a narrow, four-wicket win, against Kings XI Punjab, successfully chasing 156. At one stage RCB were stuttering, requiring more than 10-an-over. However, Ab de Villiers proved to be the difference between the two sides as he struck a match-winning 57 off 40 balls. Under pressure after a middle-order collapse, RCB relied on their talisman to get the job done as the South African delivered big time!
ABD built up his innings in phases as he only accelerated once the equation boiled down to do or die. In the 17th over, de Villiers took Mujeeb to cleaners, accumulating 19 runs to bend the match in the hosts’ favour. Mujeeb, who had a terrific game otherwise, was overpowered in that very over, going for two match-surrendering sixes. From there on, the match was heading RCB’s way as in the next over Mohit Sharma conceded 12 to virtually pocket the match for the hosts.
In the last over, when the equation came down to 5 off 6, Washington Sundar struck two fours off Mohit Sharma to seal the match for the home team.
However, Kings XI Punjab fought with a lot of courage while defending a modest target of 155. Axar patel gave them a perfect start when he dismissed the dangerous Brendous McCullum in the very first over. Though Quinton de Kock silently promised RCB’s chase would not hit the bumpy road with some lovely strokeplay, Ashwin brought back the visitors into the game with two wickets in a single over. He bolwed de Kock and produced an edge off Sarfraz Khan to derail RCB’s chase. However, ABD displayed icy temperament to send RCB’s fans inside the stadium into delirium.