IPL

Dazzling De Villiers ignites IPL

2014-05-05 07:02
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - AB de Villiers smashed a brilliant 89 off 41 balls, including 24 runs off Dale Steyn's last over, to earn a dramatic four-wicket win for Royal Challengers Bangalore over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bangalore on Sunday night.

VIDEO: AB de Villiers v Dale Steyn

According to the supersport.com website, questions had been raised about De Villiers' form before this match, having scored just 73 runs in his five innings off 76 balls, but he single-handedly rescued the Challengers from a desperate position to earn the man-of-the-match award.

Coming to the wicket at 38 for three in the seventh over, chasing a moderate target of 156, De Villiers hammered six fours and eight sixes, restoring his reputation and stopping a run of three consecutive losses for his franchise.

Until De Villiers let loose, the Sunrisers' bowlers had strangled the Challengers, pushing the required run-rate from 7.75 to near 10 by the eighth over.

Virat Kohli had put the Sunrisers in to bat because he fancied his chances chasing on the small home ground, but paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave them a reality check when he took two wickets in the second over of the innings. Parthiv Patel went for a big drive and played on and Kohli played a shot that was more slash than cut to be caught behind.

Once again the focus was on Chris Gayle, who after missing the first four matches with a back injury, played a minor cameo on his return last week, hitting 20 in a stay of seven balls.

He lasted longer this time, and when he slammed a four and two sixes off Ishant Sharma, the interest was awakened. But, again, he flattered to deceive, caught on the boundary as he pulled flat and hard at leg-break bowler Karn Sharma for 27.

Rilee Rossouw, the young Free Stater making his debut in place of the struggling Albie Morkel, did not fare much better, and became Karn's second victim, trapped lbw as he missed a reverse sweep, having scored 14 off 23 balls and Challengers were struggling at 59 for four, with 10 overs gone.

De Villiers and Yuvraj Singh realised something needed to be done, and they put on 36 until Yuvraj gave Karn his third wicket with a mistimed sweep.

But De Villiers was in full flow, and would not be denied.

The Sunrisers owed their total to David Warner, who struck a resolute 61 off 49 balls. He and captain Shikhar Dhawan played a measured, patient game after losing two quick wickets in the powerplay, taking the score from 29 for two to 91 before Dhawan mistimed a pull off Varun Aaron and was taken on the boundary.

The Royal Challengers' bowlers stuck to their task and gave little way, even restricting the run-rate in the crucial overs 11-14 to just five an over.

Warner and Darren Sammy then tried to open up, but the West Indian mistimed an ambitious shot and was caught off Harshal Patel by Mitchell Starc at midwicket with the score at a precarious 115 for four.

At least the Sunrisers added 49 runs in the last five overs, Warner driving two sixes off Ashok Dinda to turn up the heat. But he fell to Starc in the last over, during which the Australian quick conceded only six runs, ending with the impressive figures of two for 21.

They had done enough, but it was a close-run thing until De Villiers stepped up.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

LIVE: Australia v Proteas

2014-11-22 22:58

 

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