Sun, 21 Jul 2019

Kohli, de Villiers mastery trumps Gayle's 99

14 Apr 2019, 04:52 GMT+10

Royal Challengers Bangalore 174 for 2 (Kohli 67, de Villiers 59*, Ashwin 1-30) beat Kings XI Punjab 173 for 4 (Gayle 99*, Chahal 2-33, Moeen 1-19) by eight wickets

Royal Challengers Bangalore finally found reason to smile in IPL 2019, breaking a sequence of six consecutive defeats with their first victory of the season, an eight-wicket victory against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali.

Like several Royal Challengers wins in the past, this was built on the batting combine of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, though the choke the spinners applied in the middle overs after Chris Gayle had rocketed off played its part too. Kohli made a 53-ball 67, while de Villiers was unbeaten on 59 off 38. The win wasn't achieved without a scare, as Royal Challengers saw a comfortable equation of 57 off 42 go to 38 off 18, before de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis biffed the ball around to seal the win.

Kohli and de Villiers's knocks put to shade Gayle's 99 not out, with the Kings XI opener becoming only the second batsman in IPL history to end not out while one short of his century, alongside Kohli. Suresh Raina and Prithvi Shaw have both been out on 99 in the IPL. Kings XI also let themselves down with their fielding, dropped catches and sloppy out-fielding making the task tougher for themselves. The dew that set in during the second half didn't help.

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