Royal Challengers Bangalore continued their good run of form in IPL 2020 as they completed a dominating 82-run win over the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 28th match of the competition at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
In pursuit of RCB's total of 194, KKR sent out their overseas star, Tom Banton, who was making his debut to open along with Shubman Gill. The debut didn't go as planned for the Englishman as he was bowled off Navdeep Saini's bowling in the 4th over. He scored just 8 as KKR didn't get off to the greatest of starts, managing only 23 at the end of four overs.
Gill, in the company of Nitish Rana, took the attack to Mohammad Siraj in the 5th over as they managed to get 16 off his 2nd over to spark some momentum into the KKR run-chase. The partnership didn't really kick on as Washington Sundar got rid of Rana to put KKR in a real spot of bother. RCB could have so easily had two in two but Finch put down a sitter off Chahal at long-on and Gill was given a reprieve.
The drop didn't really hurt RCB though as the KKR opener was run-out in the next over after an error in judgment in calling for a run. The wickets kept tumbling though as Dinesh Kartik, who joined Eoin Morgan in the middle perished quickly, after he was castled off Chahal's bowling. At that stage, KKR found themselves in a real hole, needing around 130 in the remaining nine overs. Morgan too didn't get going as he was caught by Udana off Sundar's bowling, after scoring just eight runs.
KKR needed to get 126 runs off the last eight overs and with Russell and Tripathi at the crease, the Knight Riders were in with a chance, although it was undoubtedly a tough task at hand.
Padikkal spilled a chance at long-off off Morris' bowling as Russell was given a second chance. Russell looked like he would make RCB pay as he started the 14th over by teeing off against the Sri Lankan pacer Isuru Udana, but, he perished in the same over as he was caught by Siraj at covers and Udana had the last laugh.
The chase never really gathered any sort of momentum post Russell's dismissal as the RCB bowlers kept chipping away with the wickets and were brilliant throughout to finish the game of convincingly.
In the end, KKR finished with just 112/9 from their 20 overs, handing RCB a massive 82-run win.
AB De Villiers' onslaught propelled RCB to a total of 194
RCB skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first on a different looking Sharjah wicket. The RCB openers got their team off to a very brisk start as both Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch got the team to 47 at the end of the powerplay.
Just as it looked like the openers were shaping up to explode, Padikkal fell in the 8th over after a 67-run stand with Finch.
The Australian was then joined by captain Kohli as both of them tried setting up for the final flourish, with the wicket showing signs of slowing down in the middle overs.
Finch was visibly struggling to time the ball and soon, he was put out of his misery after a yorker from Prasidh Krishna rifled into his stumps. The dismissal brought out AB de Villiers, who was coming into this game on the back of some low scores.
The RCB duo took their time to settle down, converting 1s into 2s before De Villiers' onslaught in the 16th over - 18 runs off Nagarkoti's over - swung the momentum in his side's favour.
That over was only the beginning of things to come for RCB as the duo put on 83 runs off the last five overs, with De Villiers contributing a major chunk of those runs with his supreme and out-of-the-world hitting.
De Villiers was the destructor in chief, as he managed to score a 33-ball 73*, knocking the wind out of the RCB bowlers' sails which propelled RCB to 194/2 off their 20 overs.
IPL 2020: RCB v KKR, Who won man of the match yesterday?
The game was in the balance when AB De Villiers walked into the middle but he changed the complexion of the game very quickly. He, along with Virat Kohli, put together a 100-run partnership, off which, De Villiers made 73 runs.
De Villiers walked in with the score on 94/2 in the 13th over as Finch and Kohli were struggling for timing on a wicket that was not easy to bat on. However, De Villiers came in and made things look ridiculously easy as he just took on the bowlers with absolute ease, sending them on a leather hunt courtesy of a wide array of strokes.
The South African's knock was the real gamechanger, and one that swung the momentum completely in RCB's favour.
And, for his scintillating knock yesterday, AB De Villiers received the man of the match in yesterday's IPL match.