De Villiers, Umesh script RCB win

De Villiers, Umesh script RCB win

Till the 16th  over of Royal Challengers Bangalore's innings, the match hung in balance with both the teams in with a chance to win as the hosts appeared to be making a heavy weather of a modest target on what seemed to be a sluggish surface. But then there was still a certain AB de Villiers (57, 40b, 2x4, 4x6) at the crease, making a mockery of both the relative difficulty of the task and the slow nature of the pitch.

Needing 41 runs from last four overs in a chase of 156 set by Kings XI Punjab after being asked to bat first here on Friday, De Villiers, looking rusty till then, turned the match on its head with a stunning assault on Afghanistan's Mujeeb ur Rahman who till that stage had conceded just 10 runs in three overs besides taking the prized scalp of Virat Kohli.

After Mandeep Singh had struck a four, de Villiers essayed two consecutive sixes as 19 runs came off the over to put RCB in a strong position. In the next over, de Villiers deposited Mohit Sharma into upper tier and with that, he brought up his fifty. He got out soon but the job was done.

Mandeep's run-out injected some artificial excitement but two fours by Washington Sundar in the last over sealed the deal for the hosts (159/6 in 19.3 overs), ending their five-match losing streak at the venue. Quinton de Kock had played a handy knock earlier with a 34-ball 45 (7x4, 1x6). The four-wicket win thus helped RCB open their account in IPL 11.

As enchanting as De Villiers' innings was, Umesh Yadav's superlative effort with the ball (3/23) was equally crucial, if not more, in RCB's win.

Earlier, KL Rahul (47, 30b, 2x4, 4x6) provided Kings XI with an identical start he had delivered for them against Delhi Daredevils in their opener in Mohali. He slapped Chris Woakes' third ball over deep point fence for a six and followed it up with an exquisitely-timed flick over backward square-leg for a similar result. He rounded off the over with a glanced four to make his intentions clear.

His partner at the other end – Mayank Agarwal -- proved no less effective, dealing in boundaries. Kings XI raced to 32 in the first three overs and RCB needed to stop them before they could run away with the game. Umesh, their best bowler in their first match against KKR, did just that in the fourth over of the innings, changed its course almost decisively.

The right-arm quick removed Mayank with the first ball that the batsman edged behind the wickets for de Kock to complete a fine diving catch. He beat Aaron Finch for pace in the next ball to trap him in front which was confirmed via DRS. He couldn't achieve a hat-trick but two balls later, he rearranged Yuvraj Singh's woodwork with an in-shaping delivery. From 32/0, Kings XI had slipped to 36 for three in a matter of six balls, a body blow they never recovered from.

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