Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers produced their explosive best to resurrect the Royal Challengers Bangalore's campaign on Sunday, chasing down a huge target set by the struggling Deccan Chargers.
Dilshan and Chris Gayle got the RCB off to a good start and the hosts were coasting at
91 for none at the halfway mark, on a par with the asking rate. Dilshan did the bulk of the scoring but the men in red soon lost the momentum as Gayle, Virat Kohli and Asad Pathan fell in quick succession. With the asking rate climbing, Dilshan was dismissed for 71 and RCB suddenly looked down and out at 117 for 4.
But that was when South African batsman AB de Villiers came to the party, producing an awesome display of hitting to seal victory. He lashed a 17-ball 47 not out and targetted his national team mate Dale Steyn, one of the most feared bowlers in the IPL. De Villiers smashed a stunned Steyn for 23 runs in the 18th over which pretty much settled the issue.
The Chargers once again suffered due to a lack of collective bowling strength. The victory puts RCB in the fifth place on the points table.
Chargers owed their score to opener Shikhar Dhawan, who was due for a big score after getting good starts in all most every innings. The Delhi batsman carried his bat as he smashed an unbeaten 73 of 52 balls to help post the competitive total on a good Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch.
Put in to bat, Chargers had a new opening combination in Daniel Harris and Dhawan and the duo were positive from the start. The RCB new ball bowlers were erratic and the duo did not miss any opportunity to punish them.
Harris, who made a brilliant century in last year's Champions League playing for South Australia against RCB, looked for another big score as he hit Dilshan for 17 runs in one over. But his innings was cut short when he was run out after a mix up with Dhawan.
Cameron White, enjoying a purple patch over the last few games, continued from where he left off in Chennai as he smashed a quickfire 45 off 24 balls.
The RCB's bowling woes continued as all their pacers struggled, except for Muralitharan no other bowler looked threatening. The Sri Lanka legend returned none for 18 in his four overs but was unlucky not to get a wicket, especially after beating Daniel Harris four times in the same over.
Zaheer Khan had another off day as he finished with figures of 0 for 33.