De Villiers wrecks Mumbai

De Villiers wrecks Mumbai

Royal Challengers ride on South African's ton to strengthen their position

De Villiers wrecks Mumbai

If Chris Gayle doesn’t get you the century then AB de Villiers will!

The Protean played five consecutive dot balls coming in after Gayle’s early dismissal, but once he carted J Suchith for a couple of back-to-back fours, there was no stopping him. De Villiers put the Mumbai Indians’ attack to sword en route to his maiden IPL century that formed the basis for Royal Challengers Bangalore’s gargantuan 235 for one.

De Villiers (133 n.o, 59b, 19x4, 4x6) found an able ally in skipper Virat Kohli (82 n.o, 50b, 6x4, 4x6) and the two put on 215 runs in just 102 balls for the second wicket, the highest partnership for any wicket in the history of IPL.  

Chasing the stiff target, Mumbai Indians were kept in the hunt by Kieron Pollard (49, 24b, 6x4, 2x6) and Lendl Simmons (68 n.o., 53b, 5x5, 3x6) till about 15 overs but once S Arvind accounted for the former, the home team’s innings lost its steam and stuttered to 196/7 to go down by 46 runs here at the Wankhede on Sunday. The magnitude of Mumbai’s task was so huge that even an off-day for RCB spearhead Mitchell Starc (1/41) couldn’t stand between Challengers and two points.

The result ended Mumbai’s five-match winning streak while the Challengers picked up their sixth win to strengthen their play-off chances. Challengers are now placed fourth with 13 points while Mumbai (12 points from 12 matches) slipped to sixth.  

The evening was all about de Villiers’ batting and even if one happened to be a Mumbai supporter, he would have hardly had any complaints because such was the beauty of this knock. If Gayle bludgeons bowlers into submission with unbelievable power-hitting, de Villiers kills them softly. His use of the crease to create angles is unparalleled and his ability to play strokes when seemingly off-balance is fascinating. He can rotate 360 degrees inside the crease, enabling himself to play strokes all over the park. When de Villiers bats the way he did on a sultry Sunday, even 22 fielders aren’t enough to stop the ball from its date with pickets.

It didn’t help that Mumbai attack kept feeding to his strengths. Whether it was their ill-conceived ploy or their inability to get the yorkers right, the home bowlers delivered countless fulltosses that both de Villiers and Kohli, let-off on six by Harbhajan Singh, were only too glad to send screaming either to the rope or over it. When Gayle, who brought up IPL’s 5000th six before being dropped on 12, was sent back early, few would have backed the Challengers to post another 200-plus score and it took an innings that was in the making for the last seven years.

The Challengers decision to give their best three batsmen the chance to play as many overs as possible eventually bore fruit with de Villiers making the most of his early entry. Harbhajan was batted out of the attack after two overs while Hardik Pandya, who hardly pitched the ball, was clobbered for 51 runs in three overs. The Challengers, who were 88/1 after 10 overs, plundered 147 in the next 10 as even the parsimonious Lasith Malinga couldn’t escape the punishment. This was the third time that the Challengers have posted a total of 200 or more this season and on all three occasions they have remained unbeaten.

Fast facts

133 n.o: AB de Villiers’  knock against the Mumbai Indians is the third highest individual score in IPL till date.

215: The unbroken partnership between Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers is the highest- ever partnership for any wicket in IPL.

235/1: Royal Challenger Bangalore’s total is the fourth highest total in the IPL history. 

Score board

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Chris Gayle c Simmons b Malinga 13 (12b, 1x4, 1x6), Virat Kohli (not out) 82 (50b, 6x4, 4x6), AB de Villiers (not out) 133 (59b, 19x4, 4x6). Extras (W-6, NB-1) 7. Total (for 1 wkt, 20 overs) 235.

Fall of wicket: 1-20 (Gayle).
Bowling: Mitchell McClenaghan 4-0-40-0 (w-1), Lasith Malinga 4-1-27-1 (w-1), Jaspreet Bumrah 4-0-52-0 (nb-1, w-1), J Suchith 3-0-35-0, Harbhajan Singh 2-0-30-0 (w-3), Hardik Pandya 3-0-51-0.

MUMBAI INDIANS: Parthiv Patel (run out) 19 (11b, 3x4), Lendl Simmons (not out) 68 (53b, 5x4, 3x6), Rohit Sharma c Mandeep b Harshal 15 (13b, 1x4, 1x6), Kieron Pollard c Starc b Arvind 49 (24b, 6x4, 2x6), Hardik Pandya st Karthik b Chahal 8 (4b, 1x6), Ambati Rayudu c de Villiers b Harshal 14 (4b, 2x4), Harbhajan Singh c Kohli b Starc 3 (3b), J Suchith c Karthik b Chahal 4 (4b), Mitchell McClenaghan (not out) 12 (4b, 2x6). Extras (LB-1, W-3) 4. Total (for 7 wkts, 20 overs) 196.

Fall of wickets: 1-29 (Parthiv), 2-63 (Rohit), 3-133 (Pollard), 4-143 (Pandya), 5-174 (Rayudu), 6-178 (Harbhajan), 7-184 (Suchith).

Bowling: Mitchell Starc 4-0-41-1 (w-1), S Arvind 4-0-29-1, David Wiese 4-0-38-0 (w-1), Harshal Patel 4-0-36-2 (w-1), Yuzvendra Chahal 4-0-51-2.

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