A B de Villiers produced one of the most devastating Twenty20 innings, smashing an unbeaten 89 from just 41 balls, as Royal Challengers Bangalore pulled off a sensational four-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a dramatic IPL match in Bangalore on Sunday.
The South African batsman butchered the Hyderabad bowlers, hitting six fours and eight sixes. He single-handedly took Bangalore to victory after they suffered early jolts following fine bowling by Karn Sharma (3-17) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-16).
Chasing 156 for six, Bangalore seemingly lost the plot when they were reduced to 59 for four in the 11th over. And when Yuvraj Singh departed, the hosts were reeling at 95-5, still needing 61 runs from 5.3 overs.
But de Villiers took over and bludgeoned the bowlers as Bangalore crossed the line with a delivery to spare.
Such was the onslaught that de Villiers dented the reputation of compatriot fast bowler Dale Steyn, who bled 39 runs without a wicket in his four overs.
Bangalore needed 28 runs off last two overs and de Villiers got into the act and hammered his South Africa teammate for 24 runs in the 19th over, scoring three scintillating sixes and a four, which turned the match around. The home side was left with just four runs to score from the last over, bowled Irfan Pathan.
Fittingly, de Villiers hit the winning runs, a four off Pathan, to hand Bangalore their first victory at home in IPL 7, in front of a wildly cheering crowd at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
This was Bangalore's third victory in IPL 7; they are now placed fourth, with six points from six matches.
Sunrises did have a chance to dismiss De Villier, but Karn Sharma failed to hold on to a tough chance in the 14th over, off the bowling of Pathan, when the batsman was on 32.
After restricting Hyderabad for 155 for six in 20 overs, Bangalore's top order, however, failed to click and they were reduced to 38 for three 6.4 overs.
Opener Parthiv Patel was castled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for just three in the second over.
Captain Virat Kohli, who is a bit low in confidence in this IPL season, did not bother the scorers, as he irresponsibly flashed at Kumar and gave a simple catch to Naman Ojha behind the stumps.
Chris Gayle (27) showed glimpses of his batting prowess for a short while by hammering India pacer Ishant Sharma for two sixes and a boundary in the fifth over, but threw his wicket away when he tried to slog Karn Sharma.
The West Indian batsman scored an entertaining 27 off 19 balls, inclusive of three fours and two massive sixes, but failed to shore up Bangalore's chase from troubled waters.
When he left the scene, the home side was deep in trouble, struggling 38 for three.
South African Rilee Rossouw, a replacement for the Nick Maddinson, looked out of sorts playing in the Indian conditions. He scored a laborious 14 runs off 23 balls, with one boundary, before he was trapped by leggie Karn Sharma in 11th over, leaving the home side tottering at 59 for four.
Left to steady the ship, Yuvraj and de Villiers added valuable 36 runs for the fifth wicket before he fell to Karn Sharma.
Earlier, David Warner's fighting knock of 61 off 49 balls helped Hyderabad post a challenging 155 for six after being put in to bat.
Warner hit four boundaries and three sixes as he steadied the Hyderabad innings with captain Shikhar Dhawan (37 off 36 balls) in a 62-run partnership for the third wicket.
Put in to bat, Hyderabad lost in-form opener Aaron Finch (13) and Lokesh Rahul (6) early and they were reduced to 29 for two in four overs.
Mitchel Starc and Ashoke Dinda (1-39) accounted for the batsmen.
Australian pacer Starc (2-21) had Finch caught behind by Parthiv Patel and then Dinda sent back local lad Rahul as he fished at an out-going delivery to Chris Gayle at first slip.
Warner, who survived a scare while on six when he played an uppish shot, and Dhawan provided stability for the visitors, adding 62 runs for third wicket in the next nine overs.
Both played some effective shots during their partnership; prominent among those were boundaries scored off Varun Aaron (2-33) and Harshel Patel (1-29).
A moment of indiscretion cost Dhawan his wicket, as he pulled one from Aaron straight into the hands of A B de Villiers, standing at deep mid-wicket, after scoring 37 off 36 balls, which included four hits to the fence.
But Warner continued to fight and smashed Yuzvendra Chahal for a six over the bowler's head and followed it up by accumulating seven more runs. He was ultimately castled by Starc in the last over of the innings.
Darren Sammy then smashed a flat one over long-off for a six to prop Hyderabad's innings, but was caught by Starc off Harshal Patel at deep mid-wicket for eight, from as many balls, in the 16th over.
Naman Ojha looked in good nick and contributed 15 runs off 11 balls, which included a gentle guide into the Hyderabad dug-out for a boundary and a six before being caught by Starc at the third-man fence off Aaron.
Image: AB de Villiers during his hurricane knock against Sunrisers Hyderabad