It was the ‘AB de Villiers’ show at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium as Royal Challengers Bangalore outperform the Rajasthan Royals yet again in the very same season. A match that looked in the favour of Rajasthan Royals was snatched away by the Master from South Africa, It was AB de Villiers who notched by an unbeaten 55 off just 22 deliveries to sail his team through to another victory in the tournament.
It all started at the toss as Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat first at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The Rajasthan Royals side didn’t have any changes to their side but made changes within their playing XI as Robin Uthappa and Ben Stokes were all set to be Rajasthan Royals’ 5th opening pair of the season. Whereas Royal Challengers Bangalore went in with a couple of changes, Mohammed Siraj and Shivam Dube made way for Gurkeerat Mann Singh and Shahbaz Ahmed.
Rajasthan Royals Suffer the sixth loss of the season
Batting First Robin Uthappa took Rajasthan Royals to a flying start as he went after Royal Challengers Bangalore’s prime performer Washington Sundar early on in the powerplay. Ben Stokes yet again had a disappointing start as was out for the score of 15 runs.
After which, Samson too fell prey to Yuzvendra Chahal along with Robin Uthappa on consecutive deliveries. With the help of Steve Smith’s knock of 57 runs and Tewatia’s late firing 19 Rajasthan Royals managed to put up a score of 177 runs on the board.
In return when the Royal Challengers Bangalore came out to bat they lost Aaron Finch very early on in the innings. The skipper walked in at three wherein he along with Devdutt Padikkal led the chase down but at one point it seemed like both were batting a strike rate much less than what was required at that point of time.
With the dismissal of both Padikkal and Virat, in walked AB de Villiers and Gurkeerat Singh Mann who managed to take the Royal Challengers past at finishing with major contributions coming from the former Proteas batsmen AB de Villiers as he notched up a quickfire 55 off just 22 deliveries. With this win, Royal Challengers Bangalore now join the race with Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians at the top.
I didn’t hit even one of them [sixes] off the middle – AB de Villiers
The man of the match of today’s match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore was AB de Villiers for his knock of 55 runs. At the post-match presentation, he said that his side leaked a few unnecessary runs with the no-balls which Yuzvendra Chahal doesn’t really do.
“Extremely happy. I felt we bowled as well as we could have. Leaked some runs, no-balls which usually Yuzi doesn’t do. Went in feeling we gave away 15-20 too much. But Virat and I spoke that we string together some partnerships and then go ahead. I’m very very nervous and erratic [in chase] and I get very stressed like any player.”
AB de Villiers said that he wants to perform for the team and show the owners what he’s capable of doing for the franchise. Since last game he didn’t perform well, he wanted to do well in this particular game and take his side to victory. He also revealed how he didn’t middle even one of the sixes today as they came off the top or bottom part of the bat.
“I want to perform for the team and show the owners I’m here for a good reason. And family, fans, and also for myself. Last game I didn’t perform my role as well as I should have, but this time I did. It’s a cat and mouse game, I always respect the bowlers. If they bowl well to me, they’ll have the upper hand. I didn’t hit even one of them [sixes] off the middle.”
Since the leg side was the bigger boundary AB de Villiers was nervous to go after Jaydev Unadkat on that side of the ground as he knew he had to connect it pretty well in order to clear the fence. He also mentioned that his sides need to buckle up and not take anything lightly as there is a reason why they lost those three games in the season which is why they aren’t first in the points table.
“When Unadkat was bowling, I was looking leg side but to be honest I was nervous because I knew I had to hit it well. Luckily I got a few away. we’ve had some good games and we’ve had some average games as well, let’s not kid ourselves. There’s a reason we’re not at the top of the table,” AB de Villiers concluded.