POINTS TABLE | FIXTURES
Recently, South African coach Mark Boucher urged de Villiers to reconsider a return to the national team. AB, being the person he is, wanted to perform at the ongoing IPL and “prove to himself and everyone else that he could still dominate”.
On Tuesday, de Villiers not only dominated but he showcased yet another masterful knock in the IPL. Batting’s ‘Mr. 360’ clobbered the Delhi Capitals bowlers to all corners of the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad, scoring a 42-ball unbeaten 75 (3×4, 5×6). AB’s whirlwind innings helped Royal Challengers Bangalore post a competitive 171/5 in their 20 overs. (SCORECARD)
DC were way out of the chase till the 16th over of their innings. Rishabh Pant (58* off 48b; 6×4) was struggling to get the big hits going. But Shimron Hetmyer (53* off 25b; 2×4, 4×6) got the innings rolling after joining Pant at the end of the 13th over.
In the 17th over, Hetmyer took 10 runs off Harshal Patel’s bowling, then smacked Kyle Jamieson for 21 – including three massive sixes – in the 18th. Hetmyer’s hitting spurred Pant into life as the pair got 11 runs off Patel in the 19th over.
The final over was bowled by Mohammed Siraj. He had 13 to defend. Though Pant whacked the final two balls for boundaries, he couldn’t take DC over the line and fell one run short.
Earlier, de Villiers came in when the RCB innings was sluggish with the score 60/3 in the ninth over. He took his time to settle down and then unfurled his range of strokes. AB added 54 runs in the company of Rajat Patidar (31 off 22b; 2×6) – a partnership that got the RCB innings up and running. Patidar was the steady partner and gave ample amount of strike to de Villiers.
AB was at his imperious best in the final over of the innings. The over bowled by Marcus Stoinis saw de Villiers bring all his pyrotechnics to the fore and smash 23 runs, including three sixes.
At the start, DC new-ball bowlers called the shots. Ishant Sharma, playing his first match of this IPL, went past the bat of Devdutt Padikkal numerous times. Virat Kohli tried to break the shackles, but Avesh Khan kept him quiet.
You win some… and you almost win some 💔😞Chin up, skip! We love you 💙#YehHaiNayiDilli #IPL2021 #DCvRCB https://t.co/bnKPnJvl1O
— Delhi Capitals (Stay Home. Wear Double Masks😷) (@DelhiCapitals) 1619548284000
Avesh eventually got the better of Kohli as the RCB skipper chopped one on to his stumps while trying to run down a delivery to the third-man region.
Ishant bowled classic Test-match line and length, and his outswingers kept on beating the outside edge of Padikkal’s bat. In his third over, Ishant saw the back of Padikkal with one that held its line after pitching on middle and beat the gap between bat and pad to hit the top of off.
Glenn Maxwell (25 off 20b; 1×4, 2×6) smashed a six each off Amit Mishra and Axar Patel’s bowling. Before the Australian could shift the momentum in RCB’s favour, Mishra sent him back with a loopy leg-spinner outside off that Maxwell managed to drag straight to the long-on fielder.