With Chris Gayle on fire, AB de Villiers has not garnered much spotlight for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season. But after Gayle failed to repeat his heroics against Pune Warriors, it was the South African's onslaught that gave his team the impetus on Thursday. Robin Uthappa struck form to come close to stealing de Villiers' thunder with a knock of 75 in 45 balls. In the end, RCB managed to hold on to their nerves to seal a 17-run win.
It is surprising how de Villiers does not pull a muscle, bending and twisting the way he does to get under the ball. The South African scored 50 (23 balls, 4x6, 2x6) in an innings laced with his typical, innovative, stroke-play to power his side to 187 on a sluggish track.
De Villiers smashed Ashok Dinda for 26 runs in the last over. His ability to send deliveries pitched in the zone past the boundary line leaves bowlers helpless, and Dinda felt that at the Subrata Roy Sahara stadium. He swept across off-stump, over the keeper's head, reverse-swept and slogged over the bowler.
The home side displayed their best effort on the field which lasted only till Gayle's brief stint in the middle. The Jamaican started cautiously, flexing his arms only against deliveries with width on offer. Looking to lift part-time spinner T Suman over the ropes for a second time in two deliveries, Gayle failed to middle and offered a catch to Bhuvneshwar Kumar at deep cover.