Earlier, ABD unleashed himself in the death overs to help RCB post a modest total of 148/4. Playing his first match of this year’s IPL, de Villiers proved his importance for RCB’s scheme of things in the tournament, with an unbeaten 89 off 46 balls, laced with three hits to the fence and nine over it.
De Villiers started the onslaught after the 15th over, when he dealt mostly in sixes, clearing the fence on as many as eight occasions to raise an undefeated 80-run fifth wicket stand along with Stuart Binny who scored just 18 of those.
Opting to bat, Bangalore were off to a forgettable start after losing their skipper and opener Shane Watson (1) in the very first over and were reduced 22/3 by the fifth over with Vishnu Vinod (7) and Kedar Jadhav (1) followed him back to the pavilion.
Axar Patel got wicket of Watson, who inside edged a shortish ball to be back in the dug out. Medium pacer Sandeep Sharma and pacer Varun Aaron sent back Vishnu and Jadhav respectively.
Tottering at 22/3, comeback man AB de Villiers and Mandeep Singh (28) were made to sweat out, as the Punjab bowlers tightened the noose around the visitors. By the 10th over, the visitors had crawled to 53/3 and were completely on backfoot.
With pressure of lifting the run-rate building, Mandeep finally succumbed in his effort to accelerate when he got a top edge off a short delivery from Aaron which stumper Wriddhiman Saha latched on beautifully.
Mandeep’s wicket brought in Binny, but it was ABD show from there on. He got almost 60 percent of the runs and did that with some eye-popping, jaw-dropping, brain-puzzling strokeplay.
For the home side, Aaron returned with figures of 2/21 while Axar Patel and Sandeep Sharma took one wicket apiece.