• De Villiers stars in RCB victory

    The Royal Challengers Bangalore stormed to a crushing 45-run victory in their IPL 2016 opener against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

    One thing is clear when you play RCB this season – if you win the toss, don’t let them bat first.

    That’s because they boast three of the most destructive batsmen on the planet. Shane Watson will argue that they have four. In fact, Sarfaraz Khan might like to say five.

    It didn’t come off for Chris Gayle, but it did for Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, who shared a 157-run stand. They struck nine sixes between them by the time Kohli departed for 75, with the score on 163 with four overs left. Shane Watson (19) came in and struck three sixes in a row, but he would fall in quick succession with De Villiers (82).

    Then Sarfaraz, one of the stars from the U19 World Cup, plundered one innovative stroke after the next, as Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded 27 runs off the penultimate over. Sarfaraz finished on 35 off just 10 balls, for RCB to finish on 227-4 – a total that had never been chased down before in IPL history.

    Sunrisers skipper Warner was up to the task. He struck a half-century off just 21 balls, but he wasn’t getting much assistance around him. Shikhar Dhawan fell cheaply, while Moises Henriques got bogged down before departing for a 23-ball 19.

    When Watson claimed the wicket of his countryman for 58, that all but ended the visitors’ challenge. England skipper Eoin Morgan was only brought in at No 6, a strange and ultimately poor decision because the game was already lost. In the end, they finished on 182-6, 45 runs short of the total.


    Photo: Cricinfo

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