A brilliant half-century by former Proteas captain AB de Villiers inspired the Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 10-run victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League on Monday.
Sunrisers captain David Warner won the toss and elected to field first but RCB openers Aaron Finch and Devdutt Padikkal made a swift start by racing to 90-0 before the latter departed for 56.
Finch and captain Virat Kohli were also dismissed soon after, which saw De Villiers kick into gear as he went on the attack in Dubai.
De Villiers smashed his 200th six in the IPL on his way to a 29-ball half century before being run out for 51 in the final over as RCB posted 163-5 in their 20 overs.
In response, the Sunrisers failed to establish decent momentum, despite a 71-run stand between Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey.
Warner’s team seamed to be cruising at a stage but a collapse by the middle order and a freakish injury to Mitchell Marsh saw RCB crawl back into the game.
Regular wickets by spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and Navdeep Saini then put RCB in command of proceedings as the Sunrisers required 18 runs from the final over with only one wicket in hand.
Dale Steyn wrapped up the match by picking up the final wicket of Sandeep Sharma, who was caught in the deep by Kohli as RCB got their 2020 campaign off to a winning start.
In the post-match interview, De Villiers was a relieved man that RCB managed to get over the line.
‘We worked very hard for the win. It’s a great start for us and hopefully a good sign of things to come,’ said De Villiers.
He was also happy to get some runs in his first outing back in the competitive setup.
‘I surprised myself to be honest. We had a competitive game in South africa, which was great, gave me a little bit of confidence. As a 36-year-old to come here, having not played a lot of cricket, in the middle of some talented youngsters – was a pleasing start.’
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