IPL MATCH CENTRE
AB de Villiers combined with Mandeep Singh for a game-changing partnership as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) eliminated Rajasthan Royals (RR) from the 2015 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a splendid 71-run win in Pune on Wednesday.
De Villiers hit a brilliant 38-ball 66 and shared a match-winning 113-run stand with Mandeep Singh (54 not out) as Bangalore recovered from a sluggish start to post a challenging 180 for four after electing to bat.
Rajasthan had the proceedings firmly under their grip but they leaked 86 runs in the last six overs to let it slip.
De Villiers' 66 came off 38 balls with four sixes and as many fours while Mandeep took 34 balls for his unbeaten 54, which had seven fours and two sixes.
Rajasthan never looked convincing in their chase as they kept losing wickets and eventually folded for just 109 in 19 overs, built around Ajinkya Rahane's fighting 42.
Rajasthan's surprise capitulation reduced it to a lop-sided affair and their total was the lowest in the IPL playoffs.
Bangalore will now play against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the second Qualifier on Friday, the winner of which will lock horns with Mumbai Indians (MI) in the summit clash on Sunday.
Rajasthan Royals: Steven Smith (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda, James Faulkner, Stuart Binny, Chris Morris, Ankit Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Sarfaraz Khan, David Wiese, Mitchell Starc, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sreenath Aravind.