AB de Villiers, at his imperious best, smashed an unbeaten 90 runs off 39 balls to help the Royal Challengers crush the Delhi Daredevils by six wickets in Bangalore.
Among those 39 balls, he ticked 10 fours and five sixes in one of his finest performances, striking at a rate of 230.
The Challengers, who had not enjoyed the best of fortunes going into this game, sitting at seventh on the log with one win from four, were offered a target of 175 to win after they sent the Daredevils to bat.
The Daredevils might, for a moment, have harboured hopes of a win when they dismissed Manan Vohra (two) and Quinton de Kock, run out for 18, with 29 on the board. But De Villiers and Virat Kohli (30 off 26) smashed 63 off six overs to break the back of the chase.
De Villiers then took full control: he did not give Corey Anderson a look-in. Of the 56 runs scored for the fourth wicket in five overs, Anderson picked up 15 off the 13 balls he was allowed to face. De Villiers had only five dot balls against his name when he smashed two wonderful fours to seal the match.
This battle between the two teams at the bottom of the table was expected to be high-scoring, given that they both boasted powerful batting line-ups and bowling attacks which has yet to come to the party.
But the Challengers bowlers did that, if not for penetration, then for conservation.
The Daredevils’ total was due in no small measure to Rishabh Pant who consolidated the innings after they were 28-2 after the powerplay.
He and Shreyas Iyer (52 off 31) put on 75 for the third wicket before he ignited the after-burners in a stand of 65 in four overs with Rahul Tewatia, who contributed nine.
Pant ended with 85 off 48, but it was too little too late. The run-rate of 8.7 was never going to be enough with De Villiers in that form. They had two overs to spare when the celebrations started.