Royal Challengers Bangalore rode A.B. de Villiers' half century to record their third successive win on the trot with a 17-run victory over Kings XI Punjab to keep their chances alive, in an IPL game here on Wednesday.
de Villiers (82*; 44 balls, 4x3, 6x7) and Marcus Stoinis, who remained not out on 46 (34 balls, 4x2, 6x3), shared an unbroken 121-run fifth wicket stand off just 66 balls to help RCB posted 202/4 after Kings XI skipper R. Ashwin asked them to bat first.
In reply, Kings XI fought hard but in the end fell short as K.L. Rahul (42; 27b; 7x4; 1x6) and Nicholas Pooran (46; 28b 1x4; 5x6) threatened to take the game away from Virat Kohli's men at the start and towards the end respectively. Kings Xi posted 185/7 in 20 overs.
Mayank Agarwal (35)and Rahul combined for a 59-run second wicket stand while David Miller (24) and Pooran joined hands for a 68-run partnership.
For RCB, Umesh Yadav (3/36) was the pick of the bowlers.
The result saw RCB lift themselves off the foot of the table while Kings XI remained fifth.
Earlier, de Villiers was scoring at run-a-ball till he was on 25, but from the 15th over onwards the South Africa legend changed gears to plunder his next 57 runs off just 19 deliveries as RCB scored 64 runs in the last three overs.
de Villiers shared a 121-run fifth wicket stand off just 66 balls with Marcus Stoinis who remained not out on 46 (34 balls, 4x2, 6x3).
Mohammed Shami (1/53) had an off day and so did Hardus Viljoen (1/51), who was taken for 27 runs in the last over with Stoinis producing a series of 4-6-4-6 in the final four deliveries.
Playing yet another must-win game, RCB were reduced to 81/4 inside nine overs but de Villiers held fort from one end.
Skipper Virat Kohli (13) was the first to go, slicing Shami to Mandeep Singh at cover.
Parthi Patel played well for his 24-ball 43 (4x7, 6x2) before Murugan Ashwin removed him. Moeen Ali (4) was dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin (1/15) who was the pick of the bowlers, not conceding a single boundary in his four overs.
However, he lacked support from the other end as de Villiers used all his experience and class to guide RCB to an imposing total.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore: 202/4 in 20 overs (de Villiers 82 not out, Marcus Stoinis 46 not out, Parthiv Patel 43; Ravichandran Ashwin 1/15; Kings XI Punjab: 185/7 (Pooran 46, Rahul 42; Umesh Yadav 3/36)
( 442 Words)