AB de Villiers came through with a brilliant late blitz to secure a seven-wicket victory for the Royal Challengers Bangalore over the Rajasthan Royals.
With RCB chasing 178 for victory, De Villiers walked to the crease at 102-2 and seven overs remaining. He finished the game by whipping Jofra Archer over deep midwicket for six, after an innings of 55* off 22 deliveries which featured six sixes.
When in this mood, De Villiers is irresistible. No bowler in the world is a match for him and no boundary too big. If his strong form in the tournament hasn’t yet moved Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher to make contact about an international return, this innings will surely be the catalyst for that.
There were other notable performers for RCB, Virat Kohli (43) and Devdutt Padikkal (35) among them. However, tonight was about De Villiers and his impossible brilliance.
It would be remiss not to note another South African’s performance with the ball for RCB – Chris Morris. Morris has been an understated giant for his team and tonight his 4-26 helped ensure that the Royals fell around 15-20 runs short of a strong target.
The Royals’ challenge was underpinned by Steve Smith’s 57 off 36 deliveries. He was supported by Robin Uthappa (41) and Jos Buttler (24). But ultimately none of these men were a match for De Villiers’ magic.