x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

De Villiers deflects credit after Bangalore's win over Rajasthan

The South African made sure that when the big-hitting Chris Gayle faltered, he stepped up and belted Rajasthan out of the game with 59 not out from just 23 balls.

AB de Villiers blasted an unbeaten 59 off just 23 balls.
AB de Villiers blasted an unbeaten 59 off just 23 balls.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore notched up a third successive victory last night rolling past the Rajasthan Royals to win by 46 runs in Jaipur.

Before the game Daniel Vettori, the Bangalore captain, had said there were no special plans for Rajasthan, the early leaders on the points table, since their confidence was sky high.

That confidence was telling as Tillakaratne Dilshan, back in the side after missing the last two games, made the opportunity count with a decisive and unbeaten 122-run stand for the fourth wicket with man of the match AB de Villiers.

The latter made sure that when the big-hitting Chris Gayle faltered, he stepped up and belted Rajasthan out of the game with 59 not out from just 23 balls. His stand with Dilshan in 50 balls meant Rajasthan were under pressure from the start chasing the target of 190. Dilshan scored 76 from 58 deliveries.

Prabhu Appanna, the left-arm spinner, polished off Rajashtan's top order by taking four for 19 to restrict the home team's chase to 143 for seven.

Rahul Dravid, the losing captain who ploughed a lone furrow with the bat with his knock of 58, said in the post-match briefing: "The last five overs made the difference. Dilshan and AB played really well in that period.

"Bowling in the death has been an area of concern for us. I am hitting some good shots but it is important to get the right result as well. Appanna bowled well, he had the backing of a lot of runs behind him. He spun the ball, it's good for his confidence."

De Villiers tried to be modest and felt it was Appanna's bowling and not his cameo that has put them on the road to recovery after a poor start to their campaign. "I had a good game, I enjoyed my batting. I'd like to hand over this award to the man who took four wickets, KP Appanna. I haven't done this before. It's a team game."

Bangalore's target looked difficult when Gayle was dismissed with the score at 67 for three in the 12th over with Brad Hogg turning the screw on with two wickets.

But De Villiers showed there were no gremlins in the track as he blasted Bangalore's way out of trouble along with Dilshan, leaving Vettori a pleased man at the end of the day. "Pretty much, every team still has a chance, so we need to keep winning."

Bangalore had lost to Rajasthan in the previous game but last night's victory moved them two places up while the Royals slipped to fourth from second on the points table.

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