De Villiers takes RCB into final

De Villiers takes RCB into final
On a day when Royal Challengers Bangalore’s much-vilified bowling came up with an impressive performance, their famed batting imploded in stunning fashion.

The ship was steadied by AB de Villiers (79 n.o., 47b, 5x4, 5x6) who turned the table around in one of his finest IPL knock.

After Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were left reeling at 29/5 and then 68/6, thanks to a sensational seam and swing bowling from Dhawal Kulkarni (14/4), de Villiers unleashed a counter-attacking innings in the company of a dogged Iqbal Abdulla (33 n.o., 25b, 3x4, 1x6)

Kulkarni’s scalps included skipper Virat Kohli (0), Chris Gayle (9), K L Rahul (0) and Sachin Baby (0), and with Jadeja accounting for Shane Watson and Stuart Binny, the carnage appeared complete before de Villiers took matters in his own hands.

The hosts reached the target of 159 losing 6 wickets in 18.2 overs, after Gujarat Lions posted 158 in 20 overs.

With this four-wicket win, RCB entered the IPL final for the third time in nine editions after their aborted bids in 2009 and 2011. Earlier, Lions who were asked to bat first, managed their competitive total on the back of Dwayne Smith’s 73 (41b, 5x4, 6x6) after the visitors were left struggling at 9/3 in the third over.

De Villiers innings was worth its weight in gold as the RCB faithful, who stayed back despite the grim situation, went home a happy lot.

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