Cape Town - Proteas superstar AB de Villiers' destructive half-century went in vain,
as the Royal Challengers Bangalore fell to an eight-wicket defeat to
the Kings XI Punjab on Monday in Indore.
De Villiers, who recently recovered from a back injury, was selected
ahead of West Indian Chris Gayle - and dutifully repaid the choice.
hard-hitting Proteas skipper struck nine sixes and three fours en route to a
cavalier 89 not out from a mere 46 deliveries.
His contribution was particularly important after the early
departures of openers Vishnu Vinod (7) and Shane Watson (1).
De Villiers enjoyed
solid support from Mandeep Singh and Stuart Binny, who scored
28 and an unbeaten 18, respectively.
Bangalore's total of 148 for four proved entirely insufficient, as Punjab surpassed the modest target with 33 balls
The Kings XI's pursuit would have been substantially more difficult,
had fielders Iqbal Abdulla and Billy Stanlake not suffered a dropped
Stanlake dropped Proteas star batsman Hashim Amla on 19, while
Abdulla spilled Australian Glenn Maxwell on 13.
Amla finished unbeaten on 58 and Maxwell on 43 not out.
They shared a resounding 72-run partnership inside seven overs.
The result pushed Punjab to second position in the eight-team standings, while the Royal Challengers are third last.
Tuesday will bring an intriguing clash between the Rising Pune
Supergiant and Delhi Daredevils at the Maharashtra Cricket Association
Stadium in Pune (16:30 SA time).