New Delhi, (IANS) Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers produced a batting masterclass as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) defeated Delhi Daredevils by five wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here on Saturday.
Chasing a challenging target of 182 runs, RCB lost openers Parthiv Patel and Moeen Ali within the first three overs.
But the jubilant Delhi crowd soon fell silent as Kohli and de Villiers took over. The duo needed just 64 deliveries to put together a partnership of 118 runs as RCB wrested the upper hand.
Kohli amassed 70 runs in a 40-ball hurricane knock which included seven boundaries and three massive hits into the stands.
Experienced leg-spinner Amit Mishra finally got rid of Kohli with a delivery that turned away sharply after spinning. The RCB captain was fooled by the extra bit of turn as Delhi wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant latched onto the outside edge.
But the visitors were well on their way to victory by that point with 45 runs needed off 40 balls.
De Villiers went on to remain unbeaten with a 72-run blitzkrieg which came off a mere 37 balls. The South African star, who brought up the winning runs in style with a six off pacer Trent Boult, hit four boundaries and six sixes during his stay in the middle.
Despite Saturday’s victory, RCB continue to be second from bottom with eight points from 11 matches. Delhi continue to flounder at the 10th and last spot with a mere six points from 12 games.
Earlier, asked to bat first, Delhi rode some power packed batting by Pant and talented teenager Abhishek Sharma to post a challenging total of 181/4.
Pant plundered 61 runs off 34 balls to help Delhi overcome some early hiccups. The 17-year-old Abhishek gave the finishing touches to the innings, smashing his way to 46 runs off just 19 balls to give the hosts a very good chance to clinch the fourth win of a rather forgettable campaign.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was the most successful among the RCB bowlers with figures of 2/28.
Delhi suffered their first blow in the opening over itself when opener Prithvi Shaw was bowled while attempting a rather languid shot off Chahal’s bowling.
Chahal got rid of Jason Roy — the other Delhi opener — in his next over with a sharply incoming delivery that totally bamboozled the England batsman before going on to disturb the stumps.
Pant and Shreyas Iyer came together to add 93 runs between over the next 62 deliveries in an attempt to bring the Delhi innings back on track.
Pant played a major role in boosting the run rate. His power packed knock included five hits to the fence and four towering sixes.
Off-spinner Moeen Ali finally brought the rampage to an end when Pant attempted another big hit, only to be caught by de Villiers near the boundary rope wide of long-on.
Iyer amassed a patient 32 off 35 balls before he too departed in an attempt to pump up the run rate. The right-hander had attempted to smash pacer Mohammed Siraj over the onside, but his mistimed shot could only manage to find RCB skipper Kohli.
Delhi’s teenaged all-rounder Abhishek then produced some fireworks lower down the order to help the hosts post a challenging total.
The 17-year-old thumped three boundaries and four hits into the stands as Delhi finished their innings on a high note.
Delhi Daredevils: 181/4 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 61, Abhishek Sharma 46 not out; Yuzvendra Chahal 2/28) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: in overs (Virat Kohli 70, AB de Villiers 72 not out; Trent Boult 2/40).