Royal Challengers Bangalore lifted from the floor of the VIVO IPL 2019 standings after they defeated Kings XI Punjab by 17 runs.

(IPL) Royal Challengers Bangalore lifted from the floor of the VIVO IPL 2019 standings after they defeated Kings XI Punjab by 17 runs in Match 42 played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium last night. After setting a target of 203, the home team kept picking up wickets at important moments to derail the visitors everytime they threatened to chase the runs down. Eventually, the equation came down to KXIP needing 30 off the last two overs; they could only score 12 and finished at 185-7.

Earlier in the evening, Royal Challengers Bangalore scored their third 200-plus total of the season riding on the back of AB de Villiers’ 82 and Marcus Stoinis’ 46, and their unbeaten 121-run partnership. There were three parts to RCB’s innings: first, Parthiv Patel scored a flurry of boundaries against the new ball and helped his team to a brisk start, then the cautious consolidation when the KXIP spinners were in operation, and finally the carnage at the backend when de Villiers and Stoinis shredded the KXIP quicks.

RCB scored 70 runs in the powerplay, added 29 in the next seven overs, and added a further 103 runs in the final seven overs – 64 of those in the last three overs.

For Kings XI Punjab, the wickets were shared by four of the five bowlers used. The two spinners were the most economical – returning combined figures of 8-0-46-2, while the pacers leaked 150 runs in their twelve overs combined.

In their chase, Kings XI Punjab threatened. But every occasion when they had their noses ahead and had momentum with them, a set batsman would be dismissed. Several batsmen got off to starts but not one made a 50, 60 or 70.  Nicholas Pooran’s 46 (28 balls, 1 four, 5 sixes) and KL Rahul’s 42 (27 balls, 7 fours, 1 six) were the two top scores in the chase.

For RCB, Umesh Yadav (3-36) and Navdeep Saini (2-33) were the pick of the bowlers. They had 36 runs to defend in the final three overs, responded brilliantly, conceding 6, 3 and 9 from overs eighteen, nineteen and twenty. Marcus Stoinis and Moeen Ali were the other wicket-takers; Stoinis dismissed Mayank Agarwal, while Moeen accounted for Rahul’s dismissal.

Standout batting performances

AB de Villiers came out to bat after his captain (and opener) Virat Kohli was dismissed at the start of the fourth over. 35-1 at that stage, RCB lost three wickets in a very short span to find themselves at 81-4 at the end of the ninth over. de Villiers took stock of the situation, realised the need was for him to knuckle down and ride out the next few overs. He knew all too well that his team needed him to stay at the crease and backed himself to do the damage in the later overs.

After crawling to a run-a-ball 25, de Villiers teed off when Ankit Rajpoot was brought back into the attack in the fifteenth over; he collected a four and a six off that over, and collected another six off Murugan Ashwin in the following over. The South African brought up his half-century in the eighteenth over – getting there in 35 balls. Then there was carnage; he hit Mohammed Shami for three consecutive sixes in the nineteenth over, and added one more big hit to his tally at the start of the final over. de Villiers took a single off the second ball of the final over, and had to stay put at the non-striker’s end for the remaining four deliveries.

The standout feature of de Villiers’ knock was how quickly he picked the length and got into position to take toll; he was brutal on anything that was short – even marginally – and deposited the delivery into the stands. He scored 22 off 18 balls off the two spinners, and scored 60 off 26 balls off the three quicks.

Notable Support Act – Batting

Parthiv Patel and Marcus Stoinis made critical contributions to RCB’s total. Parthiv, who seems to have added a gear to his batting this season, blazed away at the top; he dealt in boundaries – collecting seven fours and two sixes in the first six overs. Parthiv’s knock was a mixture of aggression and timing; he made 43 from 23 balls when he didn’t pick a googly from Murugan Ashwin, checked his shot, and the resultant leading edge carried to extra cover.

Stoinis was sleeping partner for most part of his partnership with de Villiers. But he forced the spotlight onto himself right at the end of the innings; he picked on Hardus Viljoen and hit the last four balls of the innings for 4,6,4,6 to give RCB the perfect finish to their innings. Stoinis remained unbeaten on 46, made from 34 balls.

Standout bowling performances

Ravichandran Ashwin has been outstanding with the ball right through VIVO IPL 2019. He brought his A-game to the park too and finished with exemplary figures of 4-0-15-1. Ashwin used his variations, and mixed up his pace to keep de Villiers and Stoinis at bay. His success – the wicket of Moeen Ali – was the result of intelligent bowling and perfect execution; he bowled from round the stumps, landed the ball just outside the off stump, and deceived the batsman with the carrom ball which sneaked through the gap between bat and pad.

Ashwin would be the only bowler in the entire matchto not concede a boundary!

Stat of the Match

The 48 runs scored by RCB would be the most scored by any team in the last two overs of an innings in the IPL; the previous highest was 45 runs – set by the Chennai Super Kings against RCB in 2012.

The unbeaten 121-run partnership between AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis was RCB’s first century partnership for the fifth wicket.

Brief Scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 202-4 (Parthiv Patel 43, AB de Villiers 82*, Marcus Stoinis 46*) defeated

Kings XI Punjab: 185-7 (KL Rahul 42, Mayank Agarwal 35, Nicholas Pooran46, Umesh Yadav 3-36) by 17 runs.

Man of the Match

AB de Villiers, for his unbeaten 82.

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