IPL: RCB stave off Pune's challenge for first away win

Pune, May 2 (IANS) Saurabh Tiwary and Ab de Villiers were instrumental in getting Royal Challengers Bangalore past Pune Warriors here Thursday for their first away victory in this Indian Premier League.

Tiwary came up with 52 off 45 balls at the top while de Villiers hammered 50 off 23 towards the end to help Bangalore end at 187 for three.

Robin Uthappa got Pune close to the target through his 75 off 45 but the hosts once again failed to finish the job, managing only 170 for nine.

Though Bangalore have won all of their six matches at home, it was their first away win in five attempts, keeping them in top four of the standings.

For Pune, the loss here was their sixth successive one and they lie at the bottom of the table.

Pune looked far from achieving the target after being 81 for four in 11 overs.

But Uthappa and Angelo Matthews (32) infused life into the chase with their 63-run partnership off 33 balls. Forty five off 24 balls looked very much a possibility.

Bangalore pulled things back in their favour by sending Mathews and Abhishek Nayar within a space of six balls.

But as long as the big-hitting Uthappa was around, the visitors knew their job was not over yet.

The game was in Bangalore's bag when Uthappa top edged a simple catch to RP Singh, ending a valiant knock highlighted with five crisp sixes and as many fours.

Earlier, Bangalore had no hesitation in batting first, considering the slow nature of the wicket.

Chris Gayle, who hit a record 175 against Pune in the home tie last week, did not last long this time. He ended with a run-a-ball 21.

His opening partner Tiwary and skipper Virat Kohli (25) took the innings forward with a 63-run stand.

Kohli saw his stumps rattled while playing across the line to a full ball from Ashok Dinda.

Tiwary too fell to Dinda after scoring his first fifty of the tournament, leaving Bangalore at 119 for three in 15.1 overs.

Villiers and Moises Henriques (27 off 13) unleashed carnage in the last five overs which cost 68 runs.

The South African ODI captain was the epitome of innovation. That skill came to the fore in the 20th over where he toyed with Dinda, collecting 26 runs on the way including two sixes and three fours. His strokes ranged from reverse hits on either side and a scoop over the wicket-keeper.

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