Bengaluru, Indomitable AB de Villiers struck an unbeaten 82 off 44 balls and took three catches to put paid to the early hopes of Kings XI Punjab make the play off mark as Royal Challengers scored a convincing 17 run win in the IPL league tie played at M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Wednesday.
Put into bat by Kings XI captain Ravichandran Ashwin, RCB that was at the receiving end in the league but won last three matches impressively, won again despite major contribution from its skipper Virat Kohli.
But indomitable Ab de Villiers blazed the trial scoring unbeaten 82 hitting seven sixes and adding a match winning 64 runs in the last three over in the company of Aussie all rounder Marcus Stoinis was waiting to make a big mark in the IPL by hitting unbeaten 46 in just 34 balls.
Put into bat RCB raced to 35 when it lost its skipper Virat Kohli out caught Mandeep off Mohd Shami, but the hot in form keeper batsman Parthiv Patil was not left wanting for the home team. He struck at every opportunity early in the innings as RCB raced to 71 in the seventh over before it lost prolific scorer Parthiv the seventh over.
A over later English all rounder Moeen Ali (04), who had played stellar role in the two earlier RCB wins also left to leave RCB at 76-3 in the eighth over. After Akshdeep Nath left early to leave RCB early to leave RC at 81 for 4 at the end of ninth over, AB de Villies took up the mantle in a methodical assault in the company of Marcus Stoinis.
The duo took time, built the innings scoring ones and twos though the middle overs. The fifth wicket partnership that added 121 runs in just 66 balls, stirred up the full house in the stadium by scoring 64 runs in the last three overs.
The main victims were South African fast bowler Hardus Viljoen and Indian pacer Shami. In reply, Punjab on a racing note before Chriys Gayle hitting 10 ball 23 but caught well by de Villiers in the deep. Gayle had added 42 for the opening wicket with K L Rahul (42) in just 3.2 overs and the tall target looked within the reach of Punjab.
The Karnataka bastmen Rahul who struck 7 fours and a six in his 27 ball innings added 49 runs in just 35 balls but Mayank left caught by Yazuvendra Chahal off Stoinis who bowled well in the 10th over. The next over Rahul too left the next over putting the KXI Punjab innings under pressure.
Promising West Indian batsman Nicholas Pooran proved a threat scoring 46 taking out RCB bowlings on the skies hitting five sixes and a four, but the overs ran out as Ravichandran Ashwin was the last man to be out.