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When Kohli, de Villiers turned it on for RCB

April 14, 2019 08:59 IST

IMAGE: RCB Captain Virat Kohli, right, and A B de Villiers after winning the game against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali. Photograph: BCCI

Senior pros Virat Kohli and A B de Villiers came good when it mattered the most as Royal Challengers Bangalore finally ended their losing run, with an emphatic 8 wicket win against Kings XI Punjab, in Mohali, on Saturday, April 13.

The victory enables RCB -- it was the team's first win after six losses in a row -- to keep alive their slim hopes in the tournament.

 

The duo overshadowed Chris Gayle's sparkling 99 not out from 64 balls, which powered Punjab to 173/4 after they were put into bat.

Chasing such a stiff target, RCB needed a good start.

Openers Kohli and Parthiv Patel (19 from 9 balls) laid the foundation with a quickfire 43 from 23 balls, before the RCB skipper in de Villiers's company batted sensibly in the middle overs to keep their team on course.

Kohli played a calculated innings of 67 from 53 balls, going on the attack at the start in the powerplay, before settling down in the middle overs with regular ones and twos.

AB, on the other hand, never let the asking rate get out of hand. He started off confidently with a cracking boundary through the covers off Mohammed Shami and maintained a good strike rate throughout, as he finished unbeaten on 59 from 38 balls, laced with 5 fours and two sixes.

The duo's 85 run stand off 70 balls put RCB in control, setting the stage perfectly for Marcus Stoinis's quickfire 28 not out from 16 balls.

Intriguingly, Punjab Captain Ravichandran Ashwin handed the ball to part-timer Sarfaraz Khan to bowl the final over with 6 needed for victory even though he had Sam Curran who had taken a sensational hat-trick in the final over against Delhi Capitals.

Stoinis promptly despatched a flighted delivery from Sarfaraz for a lofted straight boundary first ball and then hit the next through the covers to guide RCB to their first win in IPL-12.

Harish Kotian / Rediff.com
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