Bengaluru- AB de Villiers lived up to his status as the best batsman in world cricket currently as he made sure that Royal Challengers Bangalore will contest the Final of the IPL on Sunday as they beat the Gujarat Lions with four wickets at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday. Reports Piet Lategan.
Virat Kohli won the toss for RCB as they inserted the Lions on a slowish wicket that took some turn. RCB took wickets at regular intervals to peg back the scoring rate as the Lions could only muster 158 all out off their allotted 20 overs. Shane Watson picked up 4/29 and in picking up the wickets claimed the “purple cap” as he took his 21st scalp of IPL 2016.
RCB started badly as Kohli failed for once in being dismissed for a duck and things went from bad to worse as Chris Gayle and Watson also had a brief stay at the crease with RCB reeling at 29/4. However, De Villiers found able partners in first Stuart Binny and then Iqbal Abdulla as the Challengers romped to 159/6 and a crushing victory with 10 balls to spare. Abdulla scored 33* off 25 balls with three boundaries and a six as he hit a few invaluable boundaries near the end of the innings to take the pressure off De Villiers. The maestro impressed for the umpteenth time this season as he put pay to all the bowlers and the consummate ease with which he made his way to 79* off 47 balls in hitting five boundaries and five towering sixes, a sight to behold.
This sounded a stern warning to the three other teams left in IPL 2016. If you entertain any thought of walking away with the title, get past AB de Villiers first.
Pic: Deccan Chronicle