AB de Villiers is AB de Villiers. The South African played his best innings of the tournament to produce a comfortable victory over Kolkata Knight Riders. Enjoying the night, AB smashed six sixes into the park before RCB bowlers rip through the KKR batsmen to get the 5th victory of the season.
The 28th match of IPL 2020 marked the center-point of the tournament as the IPL 2020 reached exactly midpoint. Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore met with both of them stacking at 8 points with four wins. On a difficult Sharjah pitch, unlike previous Sharjah matches where there had been seven 200+ scores in eight games, the masterclass of de Villiers took the total to 194. The pitch slowed as the night went on and RCB bowlers made life tough for KKR batsmen, eventually RCB winning the match by 82 runs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore innings – AB de Villiers aces the innings
You never know how Royal Challengers Bangalore will perform on the night. A star-studded team each of which is a match-winner on his own can make you win matches from anywhere. That what happened tonight. It was AB de Villiers show.
As usual, it was Aaron Finch and Devdutt Padikkal on the crease as openers. A good start nonetheless showing aggression and hitting boundaries. The pair scored 67 runs for the first wicket before Padikkal was bowled by Prasidh Krishna.
Finch continued to score runs with captain Virat Kohli. A difficult Sharjah pitch was slowing as the match progressed. The 13th over had the wicket of Finch who was bowled by Andre Russell. The wicket brought AB de Villiers on strike.
And the Kohli-de Villiers combo scored exactly 100 runs together off 46 balls, de Villiers contributed with 73 of those runs.
A special innings produced by de Villiers as he went on to score his third half-century of the tournament. The first 11 balls he faced, he only scored 10 runs. The next 22 balls he faced he smacked 63 runs with five 4s and six 6s. A strike-rate of 221 looked bizarre when the next best strike-rate was 139. De Villiers made his highest score of this year’s edition as he ended his innings on 73 not out off 33 balls. RCB finished 194-2.
A forgettable night for KKR bowlers. They were beaten all across the park. Varun Chakravarthy was the most economical bowler conceded at 6.25 runs. The rest were blown away. Russell and Krishna picked up one wicket each. Sunil Narine missed the match and KKR felt his missing big time as the pitch slowed and offered more turn as the night progressed.
Kolkata Knight Riders innings – Bowlers party for RCB
In the absence of Sunil Narine, Tom Banton was making his IPL debut. But a dreadful debut. He was first to go for KKR at the end of 4th over losing his stumps to Navdeep Saini.
Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana survived for the next four overs but with the wicket of Rana at the score of 51, it started.
The wickets started to fell. From 51-2 to 112-9. That’s how the innings ended for KKR. A ground that is known for high-scoring matches but it was different tonight.
The spin factor was the difference for both the times. KKR missed the trick by not playing Narine and the pair of Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar had the figures of 8-0-32-3. Just 32 runs conceded off 48 balls with three wickets of Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, and Dinesh Karthik.
The innings ended on 112-9.
Bowlers enjoyed the party. Chris Morris and Washington Sundar picked up two wickets each while all other bowlers took one wicket each.
AB de Villiers, for his brisk and improvising innings of 73* off 33 balls, was given the man of the match award.
Man of the Match: AB de Villiers
Result: Royal Challengers Bangalore win by 82 runs
Points: Royal Challengers Bangalore 2, Kolkata Knight Riders 0