AB de Villiers was due a big innings ahead of the RCB-DD encounter and he lived up to expectations by scoring 90* off 39 balls and leading Bangalore to their second win in five matches in IPL 2018 on Saturday. Rishabh Pant's brilliant effort for Delhi (85 off 48 balls) went in vain.
Chasing 175 to win, RCB were in a big spot of bother at 29/2 in 4.3 overs when de Villiers joined Virat Kohli at the crease. After playing a dot from Shahbaz Nadeem, de Villiers hit him for two successive fours. He didn't take long to show his intention, did he? In the next over from Nadeem, he went one better and scored three successive boundaries. Things really looked ominous for Delhi.
He continued his onslaught for the rest of the RCB chase and smashed the Delhi bowlers all over the park. De Villiers and Kohli added 63 for the third wicket and 40 of them came off the former's bat.
Trent Boult took the catch of the season to dispatch Kohli in the 11th over off the bowling of Harshal Patel. Delhi expected some respite with that wicket. However, it unleashed the beast in de Villiers and he put on view some brazen shots to push Gautam Gambhir's men totally out of the contest.
De Villiers hit 10 fours and five sixes during the course of his innings as RCB took the contest in 18 overs with six wickets in hand. Delhi suffered their fourth defeat in five matches.
One felt bad for Pant who put on a batting masterclass of his own earlier in the day as DD overcame the worst batting Powerplay performance by any team in IPL 2018. Shreyas Iyer also played a good hand in Delhi's revival.
Pant joined Iyer in the sixth over after Bangalore's Yuzvendra Chahal removed Jason Roy to leave Delhi struggling at 23/2 in 5.4 overs. The visitors at the Chinnaswamy Stadium finished the Powerplay overs on 28/2, this season's worst performance in the first six overs.
Gambhir and Roy had a miserable outing on what turned out a very slow wicket in Bangalore. But both Pant and Iyer played like champions and helped Delhi to reach a competitive total of 174/5.
Both added 75 runs off 49 balls to bail Delhi out of an embarrassing position. Iyer scored his 50 off 29 balls -- first this season and seventh overall -- and hit four fours and three sixes in the process.
After Iyer got out for 52, Pant took total control of the Delhi innings and soon reached his fifty in 34 balls -- first this season and fourth overall. The 20-year-old went berserk after that in the death overs. Delhi scored 71 runs in the last five overs and 50 of those came off Pant's bat. He and Rahul Tewatia added 65 off just 25 balls.
Pant eventually got out off the fourth ball of the last over for 85 off 48 balls. He hit six fours and seven sixes.
Talking about RCB's Powerplay performance while bowling, Chris Woakes, who bowled the first over of the match for RCB, conceded just six runs. Umesh Yadav and Chahal bowled three and two overs respectively. Fast bowler Umesh conceded just 13 runs in those overs and accounted for Delhi skipper Gambhir whose miscued pull shot found Chahal. Gambhir scoffed 10 balls for his three runs.
After Gambhir's departure, legspinner Chahal made Roy's life miserable. Roy, who scored 91 not out off 56 balls in Delhi's win against Mumbai earlier in the season, appeared totally at sea against the wily Chahal. His embarrassing show of 5 off 16 balls came to an end when Chahal cleaned him up in last over of the Powerplay.