The return of AB de Villiers and his stunning innings of 89 not out off a mere 46 balls was overpowered by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 match, against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). KXIP did not receive a great deal of support from the crowd that had turned up to be treated with the news of de Villiers’ return, at the Holkar Stadium in Indore. However, KXIP continued to play terrific all-round cricket, and registered yet another big win in IPL 10, by 8 wickets. The Glenn Maxwell-led KXIP are now at the second spot in IPL 2017 Points Table. Let us take a look at the highlights. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) IPL 2017, match 8
AB de Villiers returns: For the second time in a row, Virat Kohli was missing in the RCB dugout but one of their superstars returned to the field. De Villiers was brought in to the team in place of Chris Gayle, and the run-machine was up and running in the first game itself. It was a typical characteristic innings from de Villiers, who began with caution, reconstructed the innings for his team and then opened up to collect quick runs towards the end of the innings. In the final 5 overs, de Villiers smashed 9 sixes to reach 89 not out, taking RCB to 148 for 4 in 20 overs after they were reduced to 23 for 3 in the powerplay.
Akshar Patel’s bowling: Akshar was named the Man of the Match in a contest where de Villiers smacked a rapid 89 not out, Hashim Amla scored a fifty and Maxwell spakred a rapid 43 not out as well. Akshar was given the new ball at the last moment, and it proved to be a masterstroke. Shane Watson, who had opened the innings for RCB after opting to bat, was removed in the first over after a tight start. Akshar returned with the figures of 4-0-12-1, which played a key role in KXIP restricting RCB to a modest total.
The flying Saha: When Mandeep skied the ball high in the air looking for a big stroke, it did not appear that it would result in a wicket. However, Saha proved once again why he is considered one of the best in the business: he covered a lot of ground behind him to get under the ball, and when he saw the ball was swaying away from him, he put in a big dive on his right to complete a terrific dismissal.
The sublime Hashim Amla: The KXIP opener might have missed out on a big score in the first game, but Amla carried his bat in the contest against RCB. He scored an unbeaten 58 off 38 balls with 4 boundaries and 1 six, and played anchor’s role to perfection in KXIP’s chase. He was involved in two big partnerships — 62 runs for the first wicket with Manan Vohra and 72-run unbeaten stand with Maxwell — to power KXIP to an 8-wicket win.
Amla’s strokeplay was gracious as always, with runs being scored all around the park. The South African took a particular liking towards Billy Stanlake and Yuzvendra Chahal, who were smacked for 14 and 19 runs respectively.
Glenn Maxwell’s brilliance: For the second game on the trot, Maxwell continued to impress as a leader. He took the last-minute decision to start the bowling attack with Akshar, and when it was his turn to bat, Maxwell cracked another rapid innings to power the hosts to a big victory. Maxwell scored 43 not out off a mere 22 balls, studded with 4 sixes and 3 boundaries. He also completed 1,000 IPL runs with his blitz to take his side to the second spot in the points tally.