- De Villiers cracked anunbeaten 89, but couldn’t ensure a fighting total for his team.
- Glenn Maxwell blasted an unbeaten 43 to finish it off.
- Kings XI Punjab recorded their second win in a row.
INDORE: It’s a bunch which is turning out to be perhaps one of the most dangerous teams of the competition. For a while on Monday night at the MPCA Stadium, Kings XI Punjab were put on the backfoot by a ferocious assault by AB de Villiers but held their nerve to record a clinical eight-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
For a team which finished last in the previous season, the Kings have done well to record their second win in a row, ensuring a perfect start for the underdogs in this campaign. The only positive for RCB in the game was an electrifying return to action by De Villiers, who cracked a typically brilliant, unbeaten 89 (46b, 3×4, 9×6), but couldn’t ensure a fighting total for his team, which struggled to break the shackles of Kings’ five-pronged pace attack and a parsimonious effort by left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who gave away merely 12 runs in his four overs.
Despite a late flourish, which saw them amass as many as 68 off the last four overs, all RCB managed was 148 for four, which was never going to be enough on this small ground against a team which has now made this ground its fortress.
All Kings XI took was 14.3 overs to get to the measly target, even as 33 balls were still left in their bank. After openers Manan Vohra (34, 21b, 4×4, 1×6) and Hashim Amla (58 not out, 38b, 4×4, 3×6) provided a cracking start by adding 62 in the first six overs, skipper Glenn Maxwell continued his blazing form, blasting an unbeaten 43 (22b, 3×4, 4×6), to finish it off.
Earlier, RCB we in trouble right after choosing to bat first. Skipper Shane Watson was castled while trying to cut a delivery too close to him, the experiment to open with keeper Vishnu Vinod back fired, while last match’s hero Kedar Jadhav was adjudged lbw even as Varun Aaron’s delivery looked to be going over the stumps.
It was eventually left to De Villiers, who smashed nine sixes, to take RCB to a decent total on a night where he showed what exactly the IPL was missing so far.