Rampaging de Villiers powers RCB past MI

Mumbai: Powered by a swashbuckling 133 off just 59 balls by AB de Villiers and a classy 82 from skipper Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore trounced Mumbai Indians by 39 runs in an IPL cricket match in Mumbai on Sunday. 

South Africa’s de Villiers, who came in at the fall of opener Chris Gayle’s wicket, simply tore apart the MI bowling as he hammered four sixes and 19 fours on a superb batting track at the Wankhede Stadium as RCB rattled up 235 for 1. 

De Villiers and Kohli, who faced 50 balls and struck 4 sixes and six fours, completely dominated the MI attack during their all-time IPL record partnership of 215 in 102 balls, which bettered the previous all-time best of 206 between Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh for Kings XI Punjab against RCB in 2011 at Dharamsala. 

Chasing the huge score, the third 200-plus total by RCB this season and the season’s highest total by all teams, MI made a brave effort before finally ending up with 196 for 7. 

Opener Lendl Simmons made an unconquered 68, studded with 5 fours and 3 sixes in 53 balls and also featured in a breezy stand of 70 in 37 balls for the third wicket with Kiron Pollard (49), but the target was too stiff to scale. 

The victory pushed RCB up in the standings to no. 4 with 13 points to their credit with three games in hand, a position from which they seem well-poised to enter the play-offs. 

MI, on the other hand, had to remain content with 12 points from as many games to stay in the sixth spot with two more matches in hand. 

The day belonged in large measure to de Villiers, who struck his second ton in IPL history, who was complemented in superb fashion by Kohli, who was lucky to be let off by Harbhajan Singh when on 6. 

MI had in fact looked to have had things under control when they restricted RCB to 39 for 1 at the end of the power-play overs before things fell apart as de Villiers, in particular, went hammer and tongs first at the spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Jagadeesha Suchith. 

Harbhajan was carted for 15 runs in each of his two overs and then was not called upon to bowl at all even though all other bowlers, barring Lasith Malinga, were taken to the cleaners by the two batsmen. Strangely Kieron Pollard did not bowl a single ball even when the mayhem was on.


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