It was the AB de Villiers Show at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium as Royal Challengers Bangalore rattled down the Kolkata Knight Riders side by a colossal 82 run margin as they jump to 2nd place in the points table. Kolkata Knight Riders literally had no answer to de Villiers striking with the bat as the man went on to score 73 not out in a hundred run partnership with Virat Kohli. In the bowling side as well Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar made sure Kolkata Knight Riders don’t even get near to that target of 195.
It all started at the toss as Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium where the boundaries are much shorter compared to all other grounds being used this season. Batting first Royal Challengers Bangalore posted a score of 194 runs on the board after a fiery start by openers Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch as the duo notched up more than 60 runs in the powerplay.
Followed by which it was just an absolute delight of an innings as Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers remained not out till the end of the innings as de Villiers sent all the Kolkata Knight Riders fielders hunting for the ball outside the boundary.
Kolkata Knight Riders Bowlers Stumble To Royal Challengers Bangalore Spinners
In reply, Kolkata Knight Riders had a horrible start as they opened the innings with debutant Tom Banton and Shubman Gill. It really wasn’t a great outing for Banton as he was clean up by Navdeep Saini very early on in the innings. This was followed by the wicket of Nitish Rana who was cleaned up by off-spinner Washington Sundar. Then wickets just kept falling like a deck of cards as the likes of Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Eoin Morgan too lost their wickets very early on.
The responsibility was on Rahul Tripathi to bat through but there was just too much for the young batsmen from Pune to do as he too lost his wicket in the progress. In the End, Royal Challengers Bangalore restricted the Kolkata Knight Riders Batsmen to a mere 112 for the loss of nine wickets. Much credit should be given to the spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar for bowling effectively on a small ground.
I do bounce off ideas with Virat: AB de Villiers
The man of the match for today’s game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was AB de Villiers for his stellar knock of 73 runs off just 33 deliveries. At the post-match presentation, de Villiers said that he’s very happy with the performance since he got out on a duck in the last game. He knew the wicket was tough to bat on but also knew that at Sharjah you need a score for the bowlers to defend something which is why he went after them.
“Very happy with the performance. Got a duck in the last game, a terrible feeling. Very happy that I contributed. Surprised me out there tonight. Knew the wicket was quite tough to bat on. But I thought 145-150 wasn’t enough. So I looked to go further and was surprised to get 195. They’ve got a really good bowling attack,” AB de Villiers said.
AB de Villiers went on to talk about returning back to wicket keeping and how he looks at the game differently now given that he’s assumed the duties of a wicket-keeper. In the past, he’s enjoyed keeping and certainly does now which is he’s been working hard so he can give the best for his side.
“The margins are small and you have to use every bit of energy. As Virat said there was a light in my eye, felt it in the bus itself. Always enjoyed taking the gloves. Very excited about it, I must say. I do bounce off ideas with Virat,” AB de Villiers continued.
“As a keeper, you have a really good view of the pace of the game. Different skills completely. It depends. Have worked really hard with the gloves. Want to be the best I could, that’s always been my attitude, he signed off.