Royal Challengers Bangalore have turned out to be a force to be reckoned with as the entire unit combined together to put on a complete show against Kolkata Knight Riders in a one-sided 82–run victory in match 28 of IPL 2020 in Sharjah on Monday.
While the entire RCB top-order in Aaron Finch (47 runs off 37 balls), Devdutt Padikkal (32 off 23) and Virat Kohli (33* off 28) chipped in with valuable contributions, it was de Villiers, in at no. 4, who was the star of the first innings with a 33-ball 77 that took the red-clad outfit to 194/2.
In reply, KKR could only manage 112/9 with the Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar spinning a web around a despondent KKR top order that could only combine to score 68 runs. The only glaring errors RCB made on the night were two dropped catches but were nothing compared to their rivals’ horror show in all departments of the game.
Chasing 195, KKR opening woes continue despite the introduction of Tom Banton as an opener. The English batsman could only manage eight runs in his first game before getting his stumps rattled by Navdeep Saini.
More trouble soon followed with the mounting pressure as KKR batsmen were stranglehold by RCB bowlers. Nitish Rana (9 off 14), Shubman Gill (34 off 25), Dinesh Karthik (1 off 2), Eoin Morgan (8 off 12) departed one after another to leave KKR in deep trouble at 64/5 at the halfway stage of the innings.
Washington Sundar (2/20) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/12) were the architects of the KKR top-order collapse with the duo giving away just 28 runs and picking three crucial wickets among themselves in the middle overs to take the game away from KKR’s reach.
With Andre Russell in the middle, with Rahul Tripathi on the other end, KKR still had hopes. However, the burly Jamaican, who showed shades of his hitting abilities with back-to-back sixes and a boundary, was out slogging after his cameo of 10-ball 16.
This opened the floodgates for rest of the RCB bowlers who took turns to pick three more wickets while giving away just 48 runs to pile on KKR’s misery on the night. Chris Morris, Saini, Mohammed Siraj and Isuru Udana picked a wicket each to claim their stake in the victory.
Earlier in the first innings, de Villiers hit six sixes and five fours as he set the stadium alight. He was well-supported by skipper Virat Kohli (33 not out) as the two scored 100 off 47 deliveries. Off the last five overs, RCB hammered 83.
RCB, who won the toss and elected to bat, got off to a flying start, adding 67 in 7.4 overs. Finch scored 47 while Padikkal hit 32.