AB de Villiers played a key role in Royal Challengers Bangalore's win over Kings XI Punjab by 17 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.
Chasing 203, Punjab got off to a superb start with Chris Gayle and KL Rahul scoring back-to-back boundaries.
AB de Villiers became the game changer as he dismissed Gayle (23) at long-on off Umesh Yadav.
Mayank Agarwal and Rahul helped Punjab recover with their 59-run stand for the second wicket. Bangalore struck at this stage as Marcus Stoinis dismissed Mayank (35), who was caught by a tumbling Yuzvendra Chahal at midwicket.
In the next over, Moeen Ali got rid of Rahul (42) to put Punjab under pressure.
Nicholas Pooran and David Miller built a strong 68-run partnership to nearly take Punjab home but de Villiers denied the visitors.
Navdeep Saini dismissed Miller (24), who was caught by de Villiers at long-on.
The final over witnessed the dismissal of Ravichandran Ashwin and Hardus Viljoen, which resulted in Umesh Yadav picking three wickets and Punjab finishing on a score of 185/7.
Earlier, asked to bat, AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis powered Bangalore, especially in the death overs to post a daunting total of 202 for the loss of four wickets. At one stage even 160 seemed difficult as the hosts were down to 84/4 under 11 overs.
However, an unbeaten 121-run partnership between de Villiers and Stoinis gave the Bangalore bowlers something to defend. De Villiers smashed Mohammed Shami for 21 runs, including two sixes, and slapped another six to Hardus Viljoen in the final over before Stoinis whacked two sixes and as many sixes to score 27 runs from the last over.
De Villiers and Stoinis finished unbeaten on 82 and 46, respectively.
Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel attempted to display their attacking form but the attempt was short-lived. Kohli played a drive into the covers off Shami but Mandeep Singh dismissed him for 13, leaving the full house in silence.
Patel, too, faced a similar fate. Murugan Ashwin got a vital breakthrough as he dismissed Patel (43), who was caught by Ravichandran Ashwin at covers. Big hitter Moeen Ali (4) and Akshdeep Nath (3) returned to the dugout in quick succession without troubling the scoreboard much.
Bangalore will next play against Delhi Capitals on April 28, whereas Punjab will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 29.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 202/4 (de Villiers 82*, MP Stoinis 46*, R Ashwin 1-15) beat Kings XI Punjab 185/7 (N Pooran 46, KL Rahul 42, UT Yadav 3-36, NA Saini 2-33) by 17 runs.