Royal Challengers Bangalore 179 for 3 (de Villiers 55*, Kohli 43, Padikkal 35) beat Rajasthan Royals 177 for 6 (Smith 57, Uthappa 41, Morris 4-26, Chahal 2-34) by seven wickets
Having AB de Villiers in your line-up is like having a cheat code in a videogame. Take him away, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore were very much second best to the Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, with all their other batsmen struggling to find the boundary on a slow pitch, in a chase of 178. Take him away, however, is exactly what the Royals couldn’t do.
De Villiers arrived with the Royal Challengers needing 76 from 42, which became 76 from 41 when Virat Kohli departed. Gurkeerat Singh would be on strike for 17 of those 41 balls, and score just 19 off them.
But even with all these layers of difficulty added to his task, de Villiers pulled it off, and made it look easy, with just a bit of help from the Royals’ tactics. With the equation coming down to 35 off 12, they left their best bowler, Jofra Archer, for the 20th over rather than use him in the 19th as most teams would have.
De Villiers hit Jaydev Unadkat for 6, 6, 6 off the first three balls of that 19th over, and the game was pretty much in the bag. He finished unbeaten on 55 off 22, having hit six sixes – one more than the Royals managed in their entire innings – and the Royal Challengers won with two balls to spare.
More to follow…