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Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) stands third as AB de Villiers along with the spinners thrash KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders). RCB scored 194 for 2 wickets and beat the KKR team by a score of 82 runs.
AB de Villiers managed a fantastic score of 73 runs in only 33 balls. This was at a strike rate of 221.21. All the rest who batted, like Virat Kohli, Aaron Finch, Dinesh Karthik, and also Andre Russell, combined to score only 218 runs off 208 balls.
KKR is always going to face problems in this pitch at Sharjah.
Banton in, Narine Out:
Sunil Narine had played an important role with the bowling and helped KKR to win the last two matches. This was against CSK (Chennai) and KXIP (Punjab). At that time, he was given a warning of a suspect action. This surprised the KKR and left him out of the X1. Instead of replacing him with a bowler, KKR replaced him with a batsman. Tom Banton was given the debut here.
This meant, KKR had only one spinner and this had repercussions with the progress of the match.
A Quick Start:
RCB chose to bat. Kohli knew at the toss itself that the pitch would be slow, and get slower as the game progressed.
This did not happen in the first 4 overs of the game. Finch and Padikkal hit 5 fours and a six and took the RCB team to 37 for no loss.
Sadly, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins were able to concede only 10 runs from the last 2 overs of the power play. From this point onwards, the bowlers of KKR took total control. The slow balls of Kamlesh Nagarkoti and the spin of Varun Chakravarthy were tough. RCB could score only 74 runs off 66 balls from the start of the 5th over to the end of the 15th over. They lost the wickets of Padikkal and Finch. Kohli had not hit any boundary after facing 21 balls.
RCB delirious with AB delivering:
There was no stopping AB de Villiers. He managed to hit all the types of balls thrown at him by the KKR. With nimble feet and a still head, de Villiers had a solution to every problem that was thrown at him.
AB de Villiers walloped 63 of 22 balls after scoring 10 runs of the first 11 balls. Kohli contributed 22 off the 14 balls.
Seeing de Villiers hitting you wondered whether the other players of the RCB had played in a conservative manner.
From the very start of the chase, it was clear that the KKR would find it tough to match up to the RCB. In the first 4 overs, only 23 runs were made. They also lost the wicket of Banton.
There came a time when the KKR needed 126 runs from 48 balls. Rusell offered some hope but was soon caught by Siraj. There were 37 balls left but that did not matter at all.