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Top Performer: AB blasts RCB to victory

By HARISH KOTIAN
April 19, 2021 07:56 IST
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AB de Villiers

IMAGE: A B de Villiers hits a boundary off Andre Russell. Photograph: BCCI
 

A B de Villiers blasted a magnificent half-century to power Royal Challengers Bangalore to a dominating 38-run victory against Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai on Sunday.

De Villiers showed his class in the final overs after Glenn Maxwell had brought RCB back in the contest after a couple of early wickets.

Walking in at No 5, there was still a lot of work left to do for the South African as RCB targetted a total of around the 175-run mark.

His first boundary was a streaky shot as he edged Varun Chakravarthy for a four past the wicket-keeper. But the next ball came bang off the middle as he chipped down the track and lofted the spinner down the ground for a four, giving the fielder at long-off no chance.

Prasidh Krishna overpitched as he missed his length with the yorker with de Villiers drilling it past mid-off and he hit the next ball through midwicket for successive fours.

He foiled KKR's gameplan in the death overs, going after Andre Russell, who has been assigned with the task of keeping the runs down in the final overs.

De Villiers smashed Dre Rus for a six over long-on before slicing the next over point for a four.

Russell bowled a high full toss as de Villiers played another amazing shot, crouching low before steering it to the right of the 'keeper for the second four of the over, to hit 17 runs from the over.

In the next over, he smashed Harbhajan Singh inside out over the off-side to race to his fifty from just 27 balls.

There was more carnage in store as Russell came under more attack in the final over. The first ball was smashed straight down the ground for a four before de Villiers despatched a full toss over the leg side for a six.

Russell went wide, but de Villiers continued his assault, carving it short thirdman for a four to bring up RCB's 200. He ended the innings in great style, hitting the last ball straight down the ground for another four.

The Russell experiment backfired big time for KKR as the medium pacer was smashed for 38 runs in his two overs with RCB finishing on a huge 204/4 in their 20 overs.

If Maxwell brought RCB back in the contest, de Villiers literally batted KKR out of the match with his cracking 76 not out from 34 balls, hitting nine fours and three sixes.

It was an unbelievable turnaround from RCB in the final few overs as they smashed 70 from the last five overs, with de Villiers hitting 55 of them.

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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021