AB de Villiers produced one of the most devastating Twenty20 innings as he smashed an unbeaten 89 from just 41 balls as Royal Challengers Bangalore pulled off a sensational four-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a dramatic IPL match on Sunday.
De Villiers butchered Hyderabad bowlers with six fours and eight sixes as he single-handedly took Bangalore to victory after Bangalore suffered early jolts after fine bowling show by Karn Sharma (3/17) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar(2/16).
Chasing 156 for six, Bangalore seemingly lost the plot as they were reduced to 59 for four in the 11th over and then were down 95 for five when Yuvraj Singh (14) was out, needing 61 from 5.3 overs.
But de Villiers took on from there and played a memorable innings to take Bangalore to 158 for six with one ball to spare. He stitched 57 runs for the sixth wicket with Mitchell Starc who could score just five.
In the process, de Villiers dented the reputation of his South African compatriot fast bowler Dale Steyn who bled 39 runs without a wicket in his four overs.
Bangalore needed 28 runs runs off last two overs and de Villiers came into the act and hammered Steyn for 24 runs in the 19th over with three scintillating sixes and a four, which turned the tables against Hyderabad, leaving the home side just four runs to score in the last over bowled Pathan.
Fittingly, de Villiers hit the winning runs, a four off Pathan, to take Bangalore to their first victory at home in IPL 7 in front of wildly cheering crowd at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
This was Bangalore’s third win in IPL 7 and they are now at the fourth spot with six points from six matches.
The only blemish in de Villiers’ incredible innings was when Karn Sharma failed to hold onto a tough chance in the 14th over off the bowling of Irfan Pathan when the batsman was on 32.
After restricting Hyderabad for 155 for six in 20 overs, Bangalore top order, however, could not click as per expectations as they were reduced to 38 for three 6.4 overs.
Opener Parthiv Patel, who had a good start in couple of matches, failed yet again as he was castled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for just three in the second over.
Captain Virat Kohli, who was a bit low in confidence in this year’s IPL, did not bother the scorers, as he irresponsibly flashed at Kumar to give a simple catch to Naman Ojha behind the stumps.
Chris Gayle (27) showed the glimpse of his batting prowess for a short while by hammering India pacer Ishant Sharma for two sixes and a boundary in the fifth over, but threw his wicket away when he tried to slog Karn Sharma.
The West Indian batsman scored an entertaining 27 off 19 balls with three fours and two massive sixes, but failed continued…