De Villiers steals the show as RCB romps home

A sensational display of power hitting from A.B. de Villiers (90 not out, 39balls, 10x4, 5x6) powered Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a six-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils (DD) here on Saturday.

A.B. de Villiers celebrates Royal Challengers Bangalore's win against Delhi Daredevils in Bengaluru on Saturday.   -  K. Murali Kumar

A sensational display of power hitting from A.B. de Villiers (90 not out, 39balls, 10x4, 5x6) powered Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a six-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils (DD) here on Saturday. The de Villiers master class sparked some life into RCB’s IPL campaign, giving the side a second victory in five matches.

Set a challenging target of 175 on a slow, turning Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch, RCB was in a spot of bother when captain Virat Kohli was dismissed for a 26-ball 30. de Villiers assumed responsibility for the chase, starting off with some crisp sweeps.

The South African then pulled out the maximums to bring the big crowd to life. A fierce pull off leggie Rahul Tewatia bounced off the roof of the stadium, and anything over-pitched was smashed straight and far.

SCOREBOARD AND BALL-BY-BALL DETAILS

But the highlight of the match came from Trent Boult, who pulled off an incredible catch to dismiss Kohli. A flick from Kohli flew to Boult at deep square-leg, who stuck his right hand over his head and plucked the ball out of thin air. The momentum of the shot carried him perilously close to the ropes, and it took exceptional presence of mind from Boult to contort his body out of harm’s way.

Earlier, DD posted a respectable total, on the back of good knocks from Shreyas Iyer 52 (31b, 4x4, 3x6) and Rishabh Pant (85, 48b, 6x4, 7x6). Iyer and Pant were forced to hold the innings together, after a painfully slow start to proceedings.

How they fared

The Top Buy: Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli, retained for Rs. 17 Crore, scored a 26-ball 30.

The Rookie: 18-year-old off-spinner, Washington Sundar, finished with figures of 1 for 31 in his four overs.

 

DD crawled to 28 for two in six overs – the lowest PowerPlay tally of the IPL season thus far. Pacer Umesh Yadav and the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar kept a bulk of their deliveries on good length or just short of length, making it tough for the batsmen to go through with their shots.

After taking his time to settle in, Iyer went after Washington in the 14th over. The first two deliveries were sent over the mid-wicket fence, giving the impression that DD had decided to finally step on the gas pedal. Washington, however, put paid to these plans by inducing a thick edge from Iyer, who chased a wide ball.

Pant carried on, bringing up his fifty in 34 balls. Pant was at his creative best in the penultimate over, bowled by Chris Woakes. He started with a full-blooded thrash over cover for six, and finished with scoop shots over third man and fine leg. Pant eventually holed out to long on, but not before making his mark in the game.

For RCB, a familiar difficulty returned. The death over bowling left a lot to be desired once again, with the franchise conceding 71 runs in the final five overs.