AB de Villiers struck 133 not out – the third highest score in IPL history – as the Royal Challengers Bangalore strolled to a 39-run victory over the Mumbai Indians on Sunday, boosting their hopes of reaching the playoffs.
While it was a significant victory, ending Mumbai’s four-match winning streak, it will be De Villiers’ knock which will remain in the memories of the crowd who visited the Wankhede Stadium, as he struck the highest score of the tournament so far, surpassing Chris Gayle’s 117 four days ago.
If De Villiers’ year hasn’t already been his best ever in the shorter format of the game on an individual note, his innings was his best ever in T20s, and it wasn’t just about clearing the fence this time, as he equalled the greatest number of fours struck in an IPL match, with 19.
Gayle, usually the man to play a key role in big RCB innings, fell for just 13, but that was as good as it got for Mumbai, who would fail to find another breakthrough. It would be harsh to ignore Virat Kohli’s role, as the skipper hit 82. The pair achieved the highest ever partnership in an IPL match – their stand of 215 bettering the 206 achieved by Kings XI Punjab’s Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh in 2011.
They posted 235-1 – the fourth-highest total in IPL history.
The bewildered Mumbai never managed to get themselves close, despite the best efforts of West Indian pair Lendl Simmons and Kieron Pollard, who struck 68 and 49 respectively. It was just AB de Villiers and RCB’s night, and while both sides now sit on six victories from their 12 matches, RCB moved ahead of Mumbai into fourth by net run-rate.