IPL 13: De Villiers is most impactful player of tournament, says Kohli

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma captain of Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians respectively. Sportzpics

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma captain of Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians respectively. Sportzpics

AB de Villiers smacked a blitzkrieg 22-ball 55 after Chris Morris' four-wicket haul to propel Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their IPL match on Saturday. Padikkal and skipper Virat Kohli stitched a crucial 79-run stand for the 2nd wicket. Kohli, who did his best to up the scoring rate this time around, fell off the immediate next delivery (start of the Kartik Tyagi over) to a lovely catch on mid-wicket boundary from Tewatia, who completed a neat toss and step routine.

RCB were 104/3 after 14 overs and needed 75 runs in the last six overs to cross the finish line.

After a single took de Villiers off strike, the under pressure Unadkat bowled a wide delivery before his fifth ball was dispatched for four by Gurkeerat Singh. Bangalore had to score 35 runs off the last two overs and de Villiers turned the heat on Royals.

Kings XI have struggled this season, however, and now lie bottom of the eight-team standings on four points from just two wins in eight outings. RCB scored 179/3 in 19.4 overs.

The 41-year-old, who has scored the bulk of his over 13,000 runs in Twenty20s (T20) in the opening slot, has struggled to break into the side this season due to success of the opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.

Earlier, Rajasthan sent Robin Uthappa and Ben Stokes to open the innings.

While the two scored only five runs from the first two overs, Uthappa and RR shifted gears in the third over as the right-hander hit four fours off Washington Sundar.

Uthappa particularly exploited the leg-side boundaries and smashed the ball all around the park.

South Africa pacer Chris Morris took 4-26 to restrict Rajasthan to 177-6 despite skipper Steve Smith returning to form with 57 off 36. The legside boundary de Villiers would certainly target off the left-armer Unadkat would be the longer one if he was given the 19th. And according to Cricviz, he is the most expensive specialist bowler in the last five overs across IPL 2019 and 2020.

RCB struck twice in the eighth over via Yuzvendra Chahal.

Yuzvendra Chahal brought RCB right back into the game by removing the unsafe Robin Uthappa and Sanju Samson off consecutive balls.

Jos Buttler and Steve Smith then joined forces and had a rebuilding job at their hands. Meanwhile, Smith too kept the scoreboard ticking as he and Buttler completed the fifty-run stand in the 15th over, with Smith hitting two fours in the over. RCB won over RR for 7 wickets. He scored a half-century in just 30 balls.

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