AB de Villiers has feasted and left teammate Virat Kohli looking like The Scream with a particularly ambitious six in the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s IPL win over the Delhi Daredevils.
De Villiers (72 not out) and Kohli (70 off 40 balls) finally showed their class in a 118-run, third-wicket match-winning stand as Bangalore reached 5-187-with an over to spare.
The South African’s 92-metre six in the 19th over was the pick of the bunch.
Stepping way out to his right and smashing it way over the deep midwicket fence, leaving all of us – and Kohli – in a state of shock.
“RCB’s blood group is AB positive,” read the big screen.
Delhi, out of contention for the playoffs, scored 4-181 after Kohli won the toss and opted to field.
Rishabh Pant (61) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (32) revived Delhi’s innings after legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal (2-28) removed both openers in his first two overs.
Pant and Iyer put on 93 runs for the third wicket, and Abhishek Sharma smashed 46 off 19 balls as Delhi scored 61 runs in the last five overs.
Kohli hit seven fours and three sixes before he was caught behind off legspinner Amit Mishra while going for a drive over covers.
But de Villiers, who hit six sixes and four boundaries in his 37-ball knock, made sure Bangalore didn’t suffer any more hiccups and raised the victory by smashing Trent Boult (2-40) over the long off boundary.
Bangalore moved to seventh in the standings after its fourth win, and needs to win its remaining three games to stay in the hunt for the top four.
Delhi remained at the bottom of the table after a ninth loss in 12 games.
“The table is wide open, right time to get the win,” Kohli said.
“Bowling first is better in this stage, because it’s easier for batsmen to take responsibility. You can almost set up the game how you like. That’s what works for our boys.”
At Indore, Sunil Narine’s blistering 75 off 36 balls and captain Dinesh Karthik’s robust 50 off 23 lifted Kolkata to a massive 6-245 after Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin won the toss and opted to chase on a small ground despite the best efforts of WA quick Andrew Tye who took, who took 4-41.
Lokesh Rahul (66) hit his third successive half-century in the chase but the rest of the Punjab top order fell against Andre Russell (3-41). Ashwin made a quick 45 in vain as his team fell short on 8-214.
Kolkata moved to fourth, behind Punjab on net run-rate. But Punjab also has a game in hand.