Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

IPL: AB de Villiers smashes 57 to help RCB beat Kings

IPL: AB de Villiers smashes 57 to help RCB beat Kings

Toss: RCB wins the toss and choose to bowl first. RCB won the match by 4 wickets and Umesh Yadav was adjudged as the "Man of the Match" for his exceptional bowling performance.

While RR beat Delhi Daredevils (DD) by 10 runs in their previous match, RCB, on the other hand, edged past Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at home. But, Umesh Yadav got rid of the Agarwal. Finch (0) had to go. Two balls later, he splattered Yuvraj's timber as the Punjab southpaw failed to come forward and was exposed.

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Ben Stokes, the most-expensive signing at the IPL Player Auction 2018, hasn't been in the best of batting form recently, but RR will hope he can start hitting a few balls out of the park soon. And then out! Yadav clean bowled Yuvraj off the last ball of the over, thus breaking the backbone of the opposition. The result against RCB becomes even more crucial, considering the sort of toll constant travel and reduced rest can have on the immediate match days. Kings XI raced to 32 in the first three overs and RCB needed to stop them before they could run away with the game. The Holkar Stadium in Indore is the second home ground for KXIP in the tournament, and R Ashwin will be looking to register victory against his former team. He came in to bowl the 12th over.

The right-arm quick removed Mayank with the first ball that the batsman edged behind the wickets for de Kock to complete a fine diving catch. Should they choose to do that, they'll also have to decide if a bowler makes way to keep the bowling unit to five members or a batsman like Sarfaraz Khan is pushed to the bench. Ashwin, however, gave just one run in the over.

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RCB's chase stuttered initially as Brendon McCullum fell to his first ball while skipper Virat Kohli could only make 21, but South African duo De Villiers and Quinton de Kock (45 off 34) resurrected the reply to the delight of a typically raucous M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Mandeep Singh denied Ashwin a hat-trick, and began the rebuilding process along with de Villiers. He has scored 222 runs off 219 balls against the slow bowlers, at a strike rate of 101.4 and a dot-ball percentage of 50.2. In his 30-ball knock, Rahul slammed two boundaries and four sixes.

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Many people forget that both KL Rahul and Karun Nair play their domestic cricket for Karnataka and when the two of them were batting together against RCB, it felt unusual.

However, De Villiers, who shared stands of 54 with De Kock and 65 with Mandeep Singh (22), proved key as RCB rebounded from defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders in their opener and made it seven wins out of eight in this year's IPL for the side batting second.

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