FPJ News Service
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) completed the formalities, as Virat Kohli-led side outclassed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in all departments, to be home with a massive 82-run victory, in Sharjah here on Monday.
"AB is a world-class player. He is hard to stop. He was the difference between the two teams. We tried everything. The only ball was the perfect inswinging yorker. There are a few things we need to do better. Let's be honest," said the KKR skipper, Dinesh Karthik after the match.
Earlier, AB de Villiers smashed 73 not out off just 33 balls in a magnificent batting display to power Royal Challengers Bangalore to 194 for two.
De Villiers looked effortless in finding the gaps, smashing six sixes and five fours in the company of skipper Virat Kohli (33 not out off 28 balls) as the duo put together an unbroken third wicket stand of 100 runs from 7.4 overs to take the team out of a middle-over muddle.
On a pitch that was slowing down, spinner Varun Chakravarthy bowled a tidy 0/25 from four overs, while young pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti (0/36 from four overs) cleverly mixed up his deliveries with cutters to put brakes on RCB midway their innings.
Opener Aaron Finch (47 from 37 balls) looked sluggish in the middle and struggled to find boundaries before being castled by Prasidh Krishna.
With boundaries drying up, AB De Villiers unleashed his array of shots against a disciplined Nagarkoti, smashing him for consecutive sixes, over midwicket, one of which hit a running car.
The South African raced to his fifty in 23 balls as KKR cruised to 83 runs from the last five overs to prop up the total.
Opting to bat, RCB openers Finch and Padikkal started off in a blazing fashion and took the attack on KKR new-ball bowlers Pat Cummins and Prasidh Krishna.