Hashim Amla’s half-century led Kings XI Punjab to an eight-wicket victory against RCB, despite a masterclass knock from AB de Villiers on Monday.
Amla scored 58 not out off 38 balls, and De Villiers smashed 89 not out off 46 deliveries, as the Proteas superstars dominated for their respective sides in the eighth match of IPL 2017.
This was KXIP’s 11th victory in 19 games against Royal Challengers Bangalore, after RCB won the toss and elected to bat first.
The crowd cheered when captain Shane Watson announced that De Villiers was included in the starting lineup, but the cheers slightly subsided when they heard that it would be Chris Gayle who would be replaced by Mr 360.
Gayle has scored 797 runs against KXIP, the most by any batsman against a single opposition in the IPL, so it was a surprise to see his name omitted from the team sheet.
KXIP decided to start with spin and it paid off, as Axar Patel dismissed Watson with two runs on the board.
This brought De Villiers to the crease. He got off to the perfect start with a boundary, as the crowd chanted his name.
Wickets kept tumbling as the importance of AB’s innings increased. He marked his comeback with a brilliant display, pacing his way to a 34-ball half-century (four sixes and two fours), to take RCB to 96-4 by the end of the 17th over.
Sandeep Sharma then decided to join the action, hitting a six and a four, followed by another six by De Villiers to score 17 runs of the 18th over.
With two overs left and RCB on 115-5, AB smashed a four and four sixes to take his side to 148-4, ending on 89 off 46 deliveries.
Kings XI Punjab got off to a much better start than their opponents. They reached 62 runs before the fall of the first wicket, thanks to a solid partnership between Manan Vohra and Hashim Amla.
Vohra was the first to go, losing his wicket on 31 off 21 deliveries, and Patel fell shortly after that on 9, with KXIP on 78-2 after 8.1 overs.
Amla, however, was not fazed by the quick wickets and reached his half century in 32 balls with his captain, Glenn Maxwell, supporting him perfectly at the other end.
The pair put on 86 for the third wicket, as Maxwell hit a maximum to take his side to an eight-wicket victory with 33 balls to spare.
Amla finished with 58 off 38 deliveries (four fours, three sixes), while Glenn Maxwell raced to a 22-ball 43.
Photo: Cricinfo/Shaun Roy/IPL/Sportzpics