AB de Villiers led from the front with a sublime 57 © AFP
AB de Villiers led from the front with a sublime 57 © AFP

IPL 2018: In match 8 of ongoing VIVO IPL 11, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) got off the mark with a 4-wicket win over visitors Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). The match had its moments with RCB stretching the game before AB de Villiers (57) took over. Electing to bowl, RCB bowlers combined to restrict KXIP to 155 in 19.2 overs. At one stage KXIP were 71 for 3 in 9 overs courtesy KL Rahul’s 47 but things turned after his dismissal. Umesh Yadav took 3 wickets and Washington Sundar, Kulwant Khejroliya and Chris Woakes 2 apiece to bring the hosts back.

Chasing 156, RCB lost a wicket first ball when Brendon McCullum, fell for a golden duck off Akshar Patel. A poor shot cost him dear. Quinton de Kock and Virat Kohli stitched a brief partnership with the latter dominating. Kohli looked in good touch while de Kock contributed with some timely strokes.

However, the moment of the match came in the 5th over. Afghan youngster Mujeeb Ur Rahman — the youngest ever IPL player (he was born in this millennium) — rattled Kohli’s middle-stump with a googly that turned a mile. Kohli did not read it, went for an expansive drive, and was bowled through the gate. The game was left wide open.

De Villiers and de Kock maintained a healthy run-rate for a while. De Kock slammed Ravichandran Ashwin for a six but Ashwin had the last laugh with an off-break. Shortly afterwards, Ashwin got Sarfaraz Khan with a leg-break bowled with an Anil Kumble action.

He then shuffled his bowlers well, and attacked with Akshar, Mujeeb and himself before throwing the ball to his seamers. Mohit Sharma and Andrew Tye held their nerves to keep KXIP in the hunt with some tight overs.

When Mujeeb began his final over RCB needed 41 off 24 balls. Instead of being watchful, AB pounced on the loose deliveries and made a mockery of the equation. By the time he fell RCB were on top. KXIP were in the hunt till the last over (Mandeep Singh departed as well), but Sundar finished things off with 3 balls to spare.

Brief scores

Kings XI Punjab 155 in 19.2 overs (KL Rahul 47, Karun Nair 29, Ravichandran Ashwin 33; Umesh Yadav 3 for 23, Washington Sundar 2 for 22, Kulwant Khejroliya 2 for 33) lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore 159 for 4 in 19.3 overs (Quinton de Kock 45, Virat Kohli 21, AB de Villiers 57; Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 30, Akshar Patel 1 for 25, Mujeeb Ur Rahman 1 for 29) by 4 wickets with 3 balls to spare.