IPL: de Villiers stars as Bangalore beat Kings XI Punjab

AB de Villiers

RCB will expect some fire power from their star batsmen Brendon McCullum and AB de Villiers, who blasted a 27-ball 43 and a 23-ball 44, respectively, in the first game. In their chase, RCB overcame a mid-innings slump, thanks to AB de Villiers' stroke-filled 40-ball 57 that took them to 159 for 6 in 19.3 overs. Rahman, who had until then been very impressive with figures of 3-0-10-1, was expected to turn the heat on Bangalore. The bowlers bowls round the wickets and gets the ball to come inside sharply giving the batsman no chance. 19 runs came off that over and it was all over bar the shouting for Punjab. Virat Kohli unfurled a couple of delightful drives before he fell in dramatic fashion to Mujeeb. The Bangalore captain had settled in nicely, scoring 21 off 15 balls when off-spinner Rahman slipped in a googly to bamboozle the seasoned batsman. A fit and firing Yadav is a good news for India and Kohli would pray that his form continues. But, Umesh Yadav got rid of the Agarwal. Initially, it looked like Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul would build a strong opening partnership.

After losing their IPL opener against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), RCB was eyeing a win at home and Umesh's 3/23 restricted the opponents to a chaseable total. All the players of the team are seen having fun along with support staff and coaches too.

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Despite boasting one of the most fearsome top four in the league, the lack of stability in the middle order and the absence of a finisher have started to hurt Bangalore already. He couldn't achieve a hat-trick but two balls later, he rearranged Yuvraj Singh's woodwork with an in-shaping delivery. The bench options are limited as Manoj Tiwary is the only experienced hand. So we will need to bat well, to bowl in the right places, to field like tigers and to get the crowd excited and energised. "Still we fought hard and I am proud of the guys", said the KXIP skipper. "At the end of the day, good bowlers are still good bowlers".

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Kohli said: "Very happy".

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Finch missed the first game of the season to marry his fiancee, Amy, with the Daredevils' Glenn Maxwell standing as best man. "I have no idea how the Chinnaswamy pitch will play this year, although the outfield does look fantastic, in better condition than ever; it would be great for us, and for the spectators, if the runs started to flow once again, but, whatever we find, whatever the conditions, we must adapt and find a way to win", he wrote.

The Punjab innings, however, began with a bang with Rahul taking 16 runs from the opening over bowled by Woakes whom he hit for a four and two sixes.

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