Bengaluru: AB de Villiers’ (57) brilliant knock helped Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Friday. Chasing 156, opener Brendon McCullum (0) departed in the first over and skipper Virat Kohli (21) also wasted the start and went back in the fifth over.
De Villiers and opener Quinton de Kock (45) then forged a crucial 54-run partnership for the third wicket before in-form de Kock was sent packing by Ravichandran Ashwin in the 12th over. Mandeep Singh (22) then came in the middle and supported de Villiers by playing some beautifully crafted shots around the ground.
But just when Bangalore side was at the brink of the win, the South African player was dismissed by Andrew Tye in the 19th over. His 40-ball innings was laced with two boundaries and four sixes. Just after that, Mandeep also got run out in the same over. But at that time, it was just a formality and lower-order batsmen Chris Woakes (1 not out) and Washington Sunder (9 not out) completed it with ease.
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab were bowled out for 155. Lokesh Rahul (47) and Ashwin (33) were the top scorers for Punjab. For Bangalore, pacer Umesh Yadav scalped three wickets while Chris Woakes, Kulwant Khejroliya and Sundar took two wickets each.
Put in to bat, Punjab started off on a poor note, losing opener Mayank Agarwal (15), new batsmen Aaron Finch (0) and Yuvraj Singh (4) the fourth over. With the scoreboard reading 32, Mayank and Finch were dismissed in consecutive balls, while Yuvraj was bowled on the last ball by Umesh Yadav.
Unperturbed by the sudden fall of wickets, opener Lokesh Rahul (47) played sensibly and also hammered the bowlers all around the park before getting out in the 12th over to spinner Sundar. In his 30-ball knock, he slammed two boundaries and four sixes. Middle-order batsmen Karun Nair (29) and Marcus Stoinis (11) also failed to utilise their starts and got dismissed in the back to back overs to make scoreboard read 102/5.
With their top-five players sitting in dugout, Punjab’s lower-order got exposed early. Ashwin (33), however, tried to pace up the innings but in the process the off-spinner also got out in the penultimate over. Tye (7) and Mujeeb Ur Rahman (0) got out cheaply and Punjab only managed 155 runs in 19.2 overs.
Brief scores: Kings XI Punjab: 155/10 (Lokesh Rahul 47; Umesh Yadav 3/23) against Royal Challengers Bangalore: 159/6 (AB de Villiers 57; Ravichandran Ashwin 2/ 30)