AB de Villiers brought out a characteristic half-century to lift Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to 148 for 4 against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), in the eighth match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. In a home match for KXIP, the crowd at the Holkar Stadium in Indore kept rooting for ‘ABD’ and ‘RCB’, as de Villiers made a successful comeback after missing the first two games for Royal Challengers Bangalore. De Villiers smacked 9 sixes and 3 boundaries to score 89 not out off a mere 46 balls, whereas Mandeep Singh (28) and Stuart Binny (18 not out) to hold the RCB innings together. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) IPL 2017, match 8
In the final 5 overs, de Villiers smashed as many as 8 sixes after making a sedate start. In the penultimate over, he collected 19 runs off Sandeep Sharma, with the bowler gifting de Villiers with two low full-tosses. One of the sixes were hit out of the stadium. Mohit Sharma, who looked like getting away with a tight final over, saw the final two balls being hammered with sheer power. Once again, one of those two sixes were sent out of the stadium. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) IPL 2017, match 8
Royal Challengers Bangalore were off to an ordinary start after winning the toss and deciding to bat. With Shane Watson opening in place of Gayle, Kings XI Punjab opted for Akshar Patel in the first over and had immediate success. After negotiating for most of the over, Watson decided to late-cut a delivery in line of the off-stump. However, the connection was not proper, and Watson chopped one on to his wickets.
De Villiers walked in at No. 3, and smacked a four off Sandeep to begin with. In the third over from Mohit Sharma, RCB opener Vishnu Vinod hammered a four at mid-on and de Villiers dished out the best shot of the innings. On a fuller delivery outside off, de Villiers’ heavy bat came down on the ball with a lot of power, creaming it over cover fielders for a six.
However, RCB were jolted once again when Vinod got a little fidgety, getting caught at long-on by Glenn Maxwell. The KXIP captain did well to think on his feet and went at long-on instead of mid-on, as Vinod had just about managed to clear him in the previous over for a boundary.
Unfortunately for Kedar Jadhav, he became the latest victim of erroneous leg-before decisions that have rocked the IPL 2017. On a delivery that would have missed his wickets, Jadhav was struck in line but high on the pads. Varun Aaron and KXIP were lucky to have the decision ruled in their favour.
Mandeep joined forces with de Villiers to take RCB ahead. He hit a powerful six and a boundary off T Natarajan in the ninth over, but generally the two batsmen looked to bat with caution and build a strong platform.
KXIP on their part did well to now allow the RCB batsmen to open up, and were happy allowing them singles. From the 10th over to the 13th, the most that RCB could manage were 6 runs. The pressure was always there to accelerate, due to which Mandeep decided to go for his stroke off Aaron in the 14th over.
Mandeep slashed hard at the ball but it went high in the air. Little did Mandeep and RCB realise how brilliant Wriddhiman Saha could be: Saha followed the ball all the way back to where the advertisements are printed on the field on both the sides. Saha kept running behind to get under the ball, but as it came down, he was far away. Saha lunged to his right and grabbed both the hands, collecting a terrific catch — perhaps the best seen in IPL 2017 so far.
De Villiers and Mandeep added 46 runs for the fourth wicket in a little over eight overs.
More to follow…
Royal Challengers Bangalore 148 for 4 in 20 overs (AB de Villiers 89*, Mandeep Singh 28; Varun Aaron 2 for 21, Akshar Patel 1 for 12) vs Kings XI Punjab