Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers lit up the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground with some sensational stroke-play on Saturday night and powered their team Royal Challengers Bangalore to an emphatic five-wicket win over the Delhi Daredevils. After opting to bowl, RCB’s now-familiar end-innings bowling woes surfaced once again, as they allowed the Daredevils to get to 181. The visitors then lost both openers cheaply, but Kohli and de Villiersresurrected the chase with a 118-run partnership. Virat was dismissed in the 14th over, with his team still needing 46 runs, but de Villiers stayed to the end and got the job done; he finished the chase in style, hitting a six over extra cover, and taking his own score to 72.RCB got past the finish line with one full over to spare.
The result meant that RCB are still alive in the race to the playoffs. It ended whatever remote mathematical possibility existed of the Daredevils progressing to the next stage of VIVO IPL 2018.
Earlier in the evening, the Delhi Daredevilsrode on contributions from the left-handers in their line-up to get to 181-4. After the openers were dismissed cheaply, Rishabh Pant took control of proceedings and helped himself to yet another half-century. In the last five overs, Abhishek Sharma played some stunning shots in his cameo; the debutant scored 46 from 19 balls.
DD were 44-2 at the end of the powerplay, added 76 in the middle overs, and then finished with a blast, adding 61 runs in the last five overs
Standout batting performance
Virat Kohli played some stunning shots to pilot RCB’s chase. With his team in a must-win situation, Virat walked out to bat with a purpose that was visible. The RCB captain started cheekily – collecting a boundary off an outside edge. But thereafter, he played a wide range of eye-catching shots; one got to see some fluent drives through the off-side, and some stunning drives and whip shots off the pads. While each one of the strokes was a work of art by itself, the one shot that stood out was the whip off the pads off Junior Dala that sailed over long-on.
The RCB captain was dismissed for 70 (40 balls, 7 fours, 3 sixes) when he chased a wide delivery from Amit Mishra, only managing to feather the ball into the wicket-keeper’s gloves.
Earlier, Rishabh Pant and Abhishek Sharma were the stand out performers for the Delhi Daredevils, though their knocks were as different as chalk and cheese. If Pant’s methods were crude, all about muscle, and the see-ball hit-ball type, the debutant Abhishek impressed playing with a straight bat and his ability to time the ball. Pant hit five fours and four sixes in his 34-ball 61; the boundaries were mostly off the short deliveries and hit to the leg-side. Pant’s innings was terminated at 61 when he mishit a Moeen Ali delivery, and AB de Villiers ran a good few metres to his left to pouch an excellent catch.
Abhishek announced himself in style; the first ball he faced in the T20 format, he drove Mohammed Siraj for a boundary over mid-off - the bat swing was so graceful, the contact sounded sweet and he held his pose for the cameras. A few deliveries later, he took on Tim Southee; he uppercut a wide delivery and collected a boundary through third man, then hit a six over long-on, and followed it up with a six over midwicket. The teenager wasn’t done; he collected two more sixes off Siraj – an uppercut over third man and a full-length delivery deposited into the stands at long-on.
Notable Support Act – Batting
Coming into this match at the back of two single-digit scores, AB de Villiers was perhaps desperate to get among runs, and hence the hard hands and mishits initially. But as he spent time in the middle, he discovered his timing and got into the zone that makes him the most dangerous batsman in the world. The South African was 14 from 12 balls in the eighth over, when he decided he had seen enough and it was time to cut loose; while Virat Kohli was doing his bit at one end, de Villiers joined in and sent the ball out of the park every now and then. Every time he made up his mind, he got enough wood on the ball and sent it outside the ground: over extra-cover, over long-off, over long-on and over square-leg.
De Villiers brought up his half-century off 27 balls, but was deprived the strike for a prolonged period thereafter. Between the fourteenth and the eighteenth over, he only faced five deliveries. However back on strike at the start of the nineteenth over, he played an outrageous shot – he moved outside the wide line on the off-side, stayed low and hit the ball into the stands backward of square-leg. He then finished off the match in style; de Villiers remained unbeaten on 72, hitting 4 fours and 6 sixes in his 37-ball knock.
Standout bowling performance
YuzvendraChahal would be the best bowler in the match. The RCB leg-spinner bowled two outstanding overs in the powerplay – in which he dismissed both the Daredevils openers. First up, he castled Prithvi Shaw with a top-spinner that breached through the batsman’s defences, and then dished out a googly that Jason Roy didn’t pick – the ball sneaked through the gate and took out the middle stump. Rishabh Pant hit him for a boundary and a six in his third over – twelfth over of the innings, but otherwise Chahal was pretty much on the money, and finished with respectable figures of 4-0-24-2.
Stat of the Match
The Delhi Daredevils fielded in their playing XI three players aged less than 19 years of age in this match; the two T20 debutants Abhishek Sharma and Sandeep Lamichhane were 17 year olds, while Prithvi Shaw was 18 years of age.
Delhi Daredevils 181-4 (Rishabh Pant 61, Shreyas Iyer 32, Abhishek Sharma 46*, YuzvendraChahal 2-28) lost to
Royal Challengers Bangalore 187-5 in 19.0 Overs (Virat Kohli 70, AB de Villiers 72*, Trent Boult 2-40) by 5 wickets.
Man of the Match:
AB de Villiers, for his unbeaten 72.