Classy De Villiers steals the show with sparkling fifty as Bangalore beat Rajasthan - GulfToday

Classy De Villiers steals the show with sparkling fifty as Bangalore beat Rajasthan


Royal Challengers Bangalore’s AB de Villiers reacts after his team’s victory over Rajasthan Royals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Courtesy: IPL website

Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter

AB de Villiers smacked a blitzkrieg 22-ball 55 after Chris Morris’ four-wicket haul to propel Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their IPL match on Saturday.

After restricting Royals to 177/6, Bangalore knocked down the winning for the loss of just three wickets with two balls to spare.

Chasing 178 runs to win, Bangalore were off to sedated start before Aaron Finch changed the gears and hit Jofra Archer in the third over for two sixes.

Shreyas Gopal gave Rajasthan their first breakthrough as he had Finch caught by Robin Uthappa in the next over. Virat Kohli joined Devdutt Padikkal in the middle and the duo started to rebuild the innings gradually as Bangalore reached 47 for the loss one wicket at the end of the first power play.

Padikkal and Kohli added 79 for the second wicket to take the score to 101/1 in 13 overs. Rajasthan struck in quick succession as Bangalore were reduced to 102/3, having lost two wickets in successive deliveries, which rekindled the hopes of Rajasthan.

Padikkal holed out to Ben Stokes, Kohli was caught by Rahul Tewatia, who took a fine catch at the deep mid-wicket.Bangalore were 104/3 after 14 overs and needed 75 runs in the last six overs to go over the line. De Villiers kept his cool and tried to get his eyes on the ball first as the next four overs saw Bangalore scoring 39 runs. Bangalore had to score 35 runs off the last two overs and de Villiers turned the heat on Royals. He hammered three consecutive sixes off the first three deliveries in the penultimate over bowled by Unadkat.

Gurkeerat Singh Mann also hit a four as Bangalore scored a whopping 25 in the penultimate over to bring it down to 10 needed off six deliveries.

Bangalore went over the line with De Villiers hitting Archer for a six to take them over the line and complete his fourth fifty of the season.

Earlier, Rajasthan sent Robin Uthappa and Ben Stokes to open the innings. They were also off to a cautious start asthey scored only five runs from the first two overs. Uthappa changed gears in the third over as the right-hander hit four fours off Washington Sundar. Rajasthan raced to their fifty in the final over of the powerplay, losing the vital wicket of Stokes in the same over after he was caught behind the stumps to become the first victim of Morris.

Bangalore struck twice in the eighth over as Yuzvendra Chahal sent back Uthappa and Sanju Samson on consecutive deliveries to push Rajasthan on the back foot.

Chahal had Uthappa caught by Finch after the right-hander scored 41 off 22 balls.On the next ball, he got Samson caught by Morris for a golden duck.

Jos Buttler and Steve Smith knuckled down to rebuilding job. Buttler was quick to get off the blocks as he moved to 17 off 13, with a four and a six.

Meanwhile, Smith too kept the scoreboard ticking as he and Buttler completed the fifty-run stand in the 15th over, with Smith hitting two fours in the over. Rajsathan lost Buttler in the same over after Morris picked his second wicket.

Rajsathan scored 19 off the 18th over bowled by Chahal and Smith brought up his fifty from 30 deliveries before Tewatia creamed a six and a four in the penultimate over.

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