IPL 2014 Results: Unbelievable AB De Villiers Guides RCB to Stunning Win over Sunrisers
By Deepak Vikraman | May 5, 2014 4:24 AM EST
AB De Villiers, when on song, is like watching an artist, one who thrives on modern art, and makes you look at a picture and wonder just how on earth he managed to put that up on the canvas.
The RCB maestro, with that one-of-a-kind easel of his, played a T20 innings you would sell a few of your precious belongings to see to make the Royal Challengers Bangalore camp smile like a Cheshire cat at the end of the match, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad players were left with that stunned, sinking feeling.
With the RCB crowd at the Chinnaswamy Stadium imploring their team to find their batting mojo, after the Sunrisers had managed a below-par 155 for six, De Villiers, with chants of "AB, AB, AB..." ringing through the stadium, brought out the unbelievable to the realms of believable, smoking six fours and an amazing eight sixes in his ridiculous knock of 89 from 41 balls, to take his side to a brilliant four-wicket victory with a ball to spare - RCB finishing on 158 for six, thanks only to that we-are-lucky-to-be-able-to-watch-him South African.
With the target at 156, the Royal Challengers, even this struggling batting side, were not expected to be bothered too much, with Parthiv Patel and the main man Chris Gayle looking to give the home side a fast start.
An ominous opening it was not to be, though, as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, after a tidy first over from Dale Steyn, struck timber first ball to send Patel packing. Virat Kohli, the talisman, could not ride on the RCB supporters' wave, with Bhuvneshwar making it two wickets in the same over, finding an edge off the skipper's usually infallible blade.
Gayle sent the sea of red into raptures soon enough, with two boundaries off Steyn, before following that up with a boundary and two sixes off Ishant Sharma. However, the boundary-hitting fest from the left-hander did not last long enough as leg-spinner Karn Sharma picked up the massive wicket, with Gayle (27, 19b, 3x4, 2x6) finding fellow West Indian Darren Sammy perfectly at deep midwicket.
Rilee Rossouw, brought in for Albie Morkel, struggled to make an impact in his first IPL match, with the South African scratching his way to 14 from 23 balls, before becoming Karn Sharma's second victim. That put RCB on 59 for four, with the equation at 97 from 59 balls, leaving RCB's two other big batsmen - AB De Villiers and Yuvraj Singh - to see them through.
Yuvraj, again, looked far from convincing, unable to rotate the strike at will, but De Villiers, after a forgettable first five matches, was more like his usual self again, playing those crisp shots to the boundary, finding that six or four at the right moments to ease the pressure just when it looked like the panic button was going to be pressed.
With the target brought down to 67 from the final six overs, thanks largely to some outstanding hitting from De Villiers, Yuvraj (14, 16b, 1x4, 1x6) decided to come to the party by smoking a gorgeous six off Karn Sharma (three for 17), but an attempt at another one only led to a catch being taken at deep square leg.
With just the bowlers now for company, it was all up to De Villiers, and the big little man stepped up like only he can, caning Sammy for two sixes and a four in one over to bring the equation down to a very makeable 40 from 24, and getting to his 50 in the process from a mere 23 deliveries.
A brilliant over from Steyn, which went for only three, and a nine-run over from Bhuvneshwar (4-0-16-2), put the match on a knife's edge, with RCB needing 28 from the final two.
When you have De Villiers in your lineup, though, RCB never need to worry, because the right-handed pocketful of dynamite makes even the likes of Steyn (4-0-39-0) look like a mere mortal. De Villiers was unstoppable, smashing two sixes off the first two deliveries, before a four and an unbelievable lap six over the keeper's head off the final two balls took RCB home, with the final four runs needed in the last over easy as pie as even Steyn could only stand and applaud the magic of his compatriot.
Earlier, the Sunrisers Hyderabad had one of those scratchy innings yet again, with only a belligerent half-century from David Warner helping them to a score of 155.
Aaron Finch, who started the tournament in smashing form, fell in just the third over to Mitchell Starc, who produced a ripsnorter of a short delivery to send the Australian back to the pavilion - Starc (4-0-21-2) would bowl wonderfully well towards the end of the innings too, to earn his money, and then some, for the night.
KL Rahul, who impressed so much in the previous game, could not produce the goods against his former side at his home ground, with the right-hander edging a short and wide delivery off Ashok Dinda to wicketkeeper Patel after just six from six balls.
Those early blows of Finch (13, 8b, 1x4, 1x6), who looked good in his short stay, and Rahul did not rattle the Sunrisers, as Shikhar Dhawan, desperate for a score of note, and Warner allied for a much-needed 62 runs from nine overs.
Both batsmen looked decent in the middle, with Dhawan in particular looking to find that touch which has evaded him quite a bit in the last few months. The two left-handers took the score to 91 for two in the 13th over, before Dhawan's (37, 36b, 4x4) attempt at breaking free coupled with his penchant for playing that instinctive pull shot resulted in his dismissal, with Varun Aaron's (two for 33) short ball only thudding off the blade of the SRH skipper to AB De Villiers at deep midwicket. Darren Sammy came in, belted a six, but fell soon after, leaving Warner (61, 49b, 4x4, 3x6) to thump a couple of sixes and take the score to a defendable one, and an almost-winning one before De Villiers decided to go nuts.
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