IPL 2017: De Villiers special failed to save RCB as KXIP clinched 8-wicket win

IPL 2017: De Villiers special failed to save RCB as KXIP clinched 8-wicket win

Amitesh Agnihotri | Published On: Apr 11, 2017 05:55 PM IST | Updated On: Apr 11, 2017 08:25 AM IST |   114

NEW DELHI: AB de Villiers stunning performance failed to save RCB as KXIP sailed to eight-wicket win. De Villiers knock was completely overshadowed by Hashim Amla who scored scored an unbeaten 58 while skipper Glenn Maxwell scored a 22-ball 43 to seal the chase of 149 in 14.3 overs. That KXIP were left to chase 149 was thanks to a one-man show from AB de Villiers who recovered from a back spasm to play a blinder of an innings in his first IPL match of the season. He clattered three fours and nine sixes in an unbeaten 89 to singlehandedly push his team to a competitive 148/4 after RCB won the toss and opted to bat first. They found themselves struggling from the first over itself when they lost captain Shane Watson and at one stage they were 71/4 in 15 overs but thanks to De Villiers, they recovered. However, the target never looked imposing for KXIP who recorded their 11th victory in 19 meetings against RCB. Royal Challengers Bangalore were in for some early struggle after losing three wickets within the Powerplay overs. The signs were ominous when Shane Watson dragged one from Axar Patel in the very first over back onto the stumps to be bowled for 1. Vishnu Vinod went for a pull but was cramped for room and ended up top-edging Sandeep Sharma to be holed out at long-on. And then Varun Aaron was the beneficiary of a dubious decision when he trapped Kedar Jadhav LBW even though the ball crashed above his knee roll. 23/3 after 6 overs doesn't make for a pleasant sight. Axar finished with 1/12 from four overs and was rightly adjudged as the Man-of-the-Match. But it was a different story when KXIP began their chase. The openers Hashim Amla and Manan Vohra began aggressively and before the latter was out off the final delivery of the sixth over, had collected 62 runs. AB De Villiers and Mandeep Singh were shepherding the innings safely and had added 46 runs for the fourth wicket when an exceptional piece of fielding from wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha dented RCB's hopes. The score was 68/3 and Aaron into his third over. He banged one short and Mandeep top-edged a pull that went high into the night sky towards fine leg. Saha had set off for the catch and despite judging it wrongly, he made adjustment in the blink of an eye to dive to his right to claim the catch. If fielders could claim a wicket, this certainly would be one of those. It looked KXIP will be chasing an easy target at their second home in Indore. 71/4 in 15 overs. Not very promising. But AB de Villiers was alive. Mr 360 announced his arrival in a blazing fashion, shredding the KXIP bowlers into tiny bits. The carnage began in the 17th over, bowled by Marcus Stoinis. Sotinis bowled full, De Villiers swung hard and sent it soaring high over deep midwicket boundary. The bowler shortened his length and De Villiers pulled it away over midwicket region for another six to reach his half-century. 16 runs came from the over. Stuart Binny joined the fun, a six and a four off Mohit Sharma who committed mistakes by dishing out half-volleys in the death overs. In the same over, Sandeep attempted a yorker but delivered a full toss instead. Result: De Villiers flat batted him for another six. Sandeep came next. 4,6,6 to De Villiers. The South African finished the innings with some more fireworks, clattering two sixes off the final two deliveries to finish unbeaten on 89. His magic was the reason that RCB looted 77 runs in the final five overs. There were murmurs before this match whether persisting with Hashim Amla is a sensible approach when KXIP have players of the pedigree of Shaun Marsh and Eoin Morgan. But those doubts have been safely put to rest after Amla produced a classy half-century in a winning effort. He opened his account with a boundary to fine leg and paced his innings perfectly. With a healthy mixture of singles, doubles, fours and two sixes; the South African reached a second IPL fifty in 32 balls. Although, he benefited from a dropped catch when batting on 20 but that was the only blemish in his innings which outshined De Villier's one-man show for RCB. Catches win matches. RCB would know it better tonight. They dropped two easy catches, giving reprieves to Amla and Glenn Maxwell who both went on to seal a stylish eight-wicket win. Amla was batting on 20 when he hooked a short delivery from Tynmal Mills to fine leg. Billy Stanlake was stationed there and the ball crashed-past his hands over the boundary for a six. Mills couldn't believe it. Then, as Shane Watson brought himself back into the attack in the 12th over, Maxwell sliced his first delivery towards the point fielder. Mandeep Singh, in a similar fashion to Stanlake, let it slip through his hands. Maxwell was on 13 then. Amla went on to score 58 not out and Maxwell remained unbeaten on 43 off 22 balls.

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