RCB get back to winning ways on home turf

A half-century by AB de Villiers guides Royal Challengers Bangalore (159-6) to a 4-wicket victory over Kings XI Punjab (155-10) at the iconic Chinnaswamy Stadium.

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Chennai Super Kings won at their home ground at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, SunRisers Hydeabad won at their home venue at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium and Royal Challengers Bangalore have carried forward the pattern with a win at their den at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.

KL Rahul (47) started off from where he had left in the last match after KXIP were put in to bat in their second match of the season. Rahul was well complemented by Karnataka batsman Mayank Agarwal (15) who was recently in the news for a Bradmanesque average in the first class season.

RCB drew first blood when Umesh Yadav (MoM) made a comeback after going for plenty in the first over to get Agarwal nicked to the keeper Quinton de kock who took a great catch diving to his right.

On the very next ball Yadav caught the newly married Aaron Finch (0) in front of the wickets. On the last ball of the same over, Indian speedster got through the defense of Yuvraj Singh (4) to bring KXIP from 32-0 to 36-3 within matter of six deliveries.

Punjab could never really get over this setback as they kept losing wickets in clumps. Owing to the contribution of another Karnataka middle-order batsman Karun Nair (29) and Captain Ravi Ashwin (33), KXIP’s clawed their way to 155 (all out), which was at least 25 short of the par score.

However, two RCB bowlers – Yuzvendra Chahal and Chris Woakes – did not have a great game as they proved to be very expensive as they gave away 38 and 36 runs respectively.

Defending a relatively small total, KXIP kept themselves in the game all along as they struck on the second ball of the innings. Opening batsman Brendon McCullum got out on a golden duck in an attempt to slash a delivery from Axar Patel (4-25-1) as he was caught at backward point.

Virat Kohli (21) came in next who rotated the strike well but was surprisingly cleaned up by Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (4-29-1) as he failed to read a googly from the youngster. The South African pair of Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers then added 54 runs before Ashwin (4-30-2) foxed de Kock (45) and Sarfaraz Khan (0) on consecutive deliveries to keep the match in the balance.

However, AB’s fifty and a useful contribution from Mandeep Singh (22) assured that RCB were a stone’s throw away from victory.

The formalities were completed by all rounder Washington Sundar (9) who struck a boundary off Mohit Sharma (3.3-45-0) to clinch the match for RCB in the last over.

© Cricket World 2018