IPL 2020: AB de Villiers blitzkrieg sees RCB clinch a thriller against Rajasthan Royals

AB de Villiers shaking hands with Steve Smith after winning the match against RR on Saturday at Dubai International Stadium. Image Source: BCCI/IPL

Xtra Time Web Desk: AB de Villiers produced yet another masterclass as his 22 ball 55 powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to a thrilling 7 wickets win over Rajasthan Royals in Match 33 of IPL 2020 at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday. The game looked slipping away from RCB with 35 needed from the last two overs. But Mr 360 degrees had some other ideas. It took him three balls to flip the game on its head, smashing a hat-trick of sixes off Jaydev Unadkat who didn’t have answers to the greatness in front of him. The knock from AB included 6 sixes and one four. It was due to his effort RCB returned to winning ways after losing to KXIP in the previous game.

Batting first Rajasthan Royals made a promising start courtesy Robin Uthappa who was promoted to open the batting with Ben Stokes. Uthappa scored a quick fire 41 off 22 balls. RR Captain Steve Smith also bounced back to form as he scored 57 off 36 balls to help Royals reach a respectable score of 177/6.  

Chasing 178 runs to win, RCB did not get the start they required as Aaron Finch departed after just scoring 14 runs. Devdutt Padikkal (35 off 37) along with Captain Virat Kohli(43 off 32) steadied the ship before both falling in quick succession with the score on 102/3 after 13.1 overs. In walked AB de Villiers and together with Gurkeerat Mann Singh, he pulled off an improbable win.   

Talking after the match, RCB Captain Virat Kohli said, “If we have to be honest, you are tense because you’re not sure how many balls he will face. When he plays like that you want him to face every ball, no offence. Always bats by situation. He always looks at the team situation. In my eyes, he’s the most important match-winner in the IPL. Purely because of the presence of that man in the middle the oppostion feels we’re not out of the game.”

According to Steve Smith, “Sure is a hard pill to swallow. Just got AB’d there. That’s two in a row we were in the box seat to win but didn’t. Disappointing. I think it was a good score on a slow wicket. I thought we built the pressure pretty well and it took a pretty special innings to take RCB home. We wanted to use Jaydev to the bigger boundary, he bowls a lot of slower stuff into the wicket. Obviously boundary not big enough for AB. Nice to spend a bit of time in the middle and get a bit of rhythm.”

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