Explosive batsman AB de villiers enthralled the crowd with a whirlwind unbeaten 39-ball 90 to power Royal Challengers Bangalore to a convincing six-wicket win over Delhi Daredevils in their IPL fixture at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Saturday.
It rained fours and sixes as de villiers produced a vintage innings and singled-handedly chased down the 175-run target with two overs to spare to bring RCB’s campaign back on track.
The former South African skipper smashed 10 fours and five sixes in his unconquered innings. He shared 63 runs with captain Virat Kohli (30), before adding another 56 runs with Corey Anderson (15) to take the game away from Delhi Daredevils, who suffered their fourth loss in five matches.
Earlier, young batsmen Rishab Pant and Shreyas Iyer cracked twin half-centuries as Delhi Daredevils recovered from a slow start to post a respectable 174/5 after being asked to take the first strike by RCB.
Pant (85) anchored the DD innings as he shared a 75-run stand in 8.1 overs with Iyer (52 off 31 balls) and then forged a 65-run partnership with Rahul Tewatia (13 not out). His 48-ball innings was laced with six boundaries and seven sixes.
For RCB, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (2/22) claimed two wickets, while Umesh Yadav (1/27), Washington Sundar (1/31) and Corey Anderson (1/10) took one wicket each.
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Chasing 175 to win, Manan Vohra and Quinton de Kock opened the innings but both the openers were back to the pavilion with RCB at 29 for 2 in 4.3 overs.
Manan, who had come in for Sarfaraz Khan, was dismissed in the second over when he top-edged a Glenn Maxwell delivery and Jason Roy held on to the catch at the deep backward square leg. Quinton, on the other hand, blasted a four and six before being run out in the fifth over.
De villiers then came to the crease and smashed consecutive boundaries off Nadeem, before repeating the treatment on the bowler with three more fours in the 7th over as RCB crossed the 50-mark.
Tewatia was then introduced and de villiers pulled him over deep midwicket for a six, before sending Harshal Patel for a four in the next over.
De villiers added 63 with skipper Kohli (30) before a stunning catch at the boundary line by Trent Boult ended the partnership.
It was a full toss on the pads from Patel which Kohli sent to the deep square leg only to find Boult pulling off a sensational catch, plunging the stadium into silence.
However, there was no stopping de Villiers as he smashed two sixes and a four off Patel in the 13th over en route to his 24-ball 50.
The South African continued to deal in boundaries as he hit a six off Tewatia and then plundered a six and a four off Chris Morris in the 15th over.
Anderson then joined the party and deposited Boult over deep midwicket but three balls later he was cleaned up by the bowler.
de villiers, in company of Mandeep Singh (17 not out), then romped home with the South African blasting two more fours to end the contest.
Earlier, after electing to bowl, RCB tightened the screw on Delhi Daredevils right from the start with Umesh Yadav dismissing skipper Gautam Gambhir (3) in the third over. The visitors could manage only 11 in first four overs.
First down Iyer (52) then tried to break the shackles by smashing two boundaries off Yadav but Yuzvendra Chahal soon produced a flipper and cleaned up the other opener Jason Roy (5), who was struggling against the lethal leg-spin of the Indian spinner.
New man Pant then joined Iyer and he was off the mark with a boundary as Delhi Daredevils reached 28/2, the lowest powerplay score this season. Iyer smashed a four and six off Yadav’s last over as DD crossed the 50-mark in 9 overs.
The young duo slowly started to pile up the runs and amassed 75 runs in 8.1 overs to take Delhi close to the 100-mark.
In the 14th over, Iyer clobbered two consecutive sixes off Washington Sundar to bring up his fifty before giving away a simple catch to Mohammad Siraj at short third man as DD slipped to 98/3.
Glenn Maxwell (4) then tried to play a reverse shot which was caught by Siraj again at short third man.
Pant, meanwhile, continued to take the bowlers to the cleaners as he blasted back-to-back sixes off Chahal over long-off and third man boundary. He repeated the treatment to Siraj in the 18th over before sending Chris Woakes for a leather hunt with two fours and a six in the 19th over.
Corey Anderson bowled the final over and Pant sent him out of the park in the second ball before he was caught by AB de villiers when he was trying for another big shot.