AB de Villiers (L) and Quinton de Kock added 103 for the 2nd wicket    AFP
AB de Villiers (L) and Quinton de Kock added 103 runs for the 2nd wicket AFP

Chasing has seldom been difficult at M Chinnaswamy stadium, Bengaluru. That might have prompted Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni to invite Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to bat first in match 24 of ongoing VIVO IPL 2018. However, he must have doubted his decision when AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock were going bonkers, adding 103 in 53 balls. Following the ABD-QdK show, Imran Tahir (2 for 35) and Dwayne Bravo (2 for 33) derailed the onslaught to some extent. As things stands now, CSK require 206 to win their fifth clash of the season.

Virat Kohli, playing his 100th T20 match, opened the innings along with de Kock. Kohli looked in his elements, and timed his strokes to perfection. De Kock started well as well but lost Kohli amidst the run flow. Kohli flicked straight to mid on where Ravindra Jadeja plucked an easy catch. Shardul Thakur got the breakthrough.

De Villiers walked in. He was in full flow, coming off a terrific 38-ball 90* against Delhi Daredevils (DD). He took on the bowlers from the word go. He was particularly harsh on the CSK spinners. He slammed Harbhajan Singh, read Jadeja’s lengths easily, and swept Tahir effectively. He used his long stride and negated any spin on offer by sweeping them for big sixes. One of these sixes went 111 metres.

Three consecutive sixes off Thakur took de Villiers to fifty. De Kock, though being overshadowed by his South African teammate, held his end. He took calculative risks, and read the slower balls well. Their partnership included 3 fours and 10 sixes.

In the 14th over, a mistimed hit from de Kock resulted in a simple return to Bravo. Dhoni resorted to Tahir, who accounted for two more scalps. Tahir tossed it up outside off, and de Villiers went for the glory shot but never timed it; he perished for a 30-ball 68. Corey Anderson edged it to slip shortly afterwards.

The run-flow was curtailed for a while. Mandeep Singh (32) and Colin de Grandhomme took a few balls to get going. They played out Tahir and attacked immediately afterwards. Mandeep was in ominous touch and smashed Jadeja and Thakur. In the end, Washington Sundar’s small cameo assisted the score beyond 200.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore 205 for 8 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 53, AB de Villiers 68, Mandeep Singh 32; Imran Tahir 2 for 35, Dwayne Bravo 2 for 33) vs Chennai Super Kings