AB de Villiers' 55 off 22 balls guided Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals at Dubai International Stadium here on Saturday.
Chasing 178 runs, RCB had a 23-run brief partnership between Aaron Finch and Devdutt Padikkal. Shreyas Gopal dismissed Finch (14) in the fourth over and provided the first breakthrough for his side.
Skipper Virat Kohli joined Padikkal in the middle and stitched a 79-run strong partnership for the 79-run. Padikkal departed after playing a knock of 35 runs off Rahul Tewatia.
Kohli was also sent back to the pavilion in the next over by Karthik Tyagi. He smashed 43 off 32 balls including two sixes and a four.
AB de Villiers and Gurkeerat Singh built the match-winning 77-run unbeaten stand to put their side over the line. De Villiers played a knock of 55 runs including six sixes while Gurkeerat scored 19. RCB scored 179/3 in 19.4 overs. For Rajasthan, Karthik Tyagi, Rahul Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal scalped one wicket each.
Earlier, skipper Steve Smith's gutsy half-century and Rahul Tewatia's death over cameo powered Rajasthan Royals to post 177 runs.
The Royals smashed 19 and 15 runs in the 18th and 19th over respectively. The run-scoring was largely powered by Smith as he smashed 57 runs off 36 balls. Meanwhile, Tewatia scored 19 runs off 11 balls.
However, Morris again helped RCB make a comeback as he conceded only four runs in the final overs. The right-handed bowler execution also dismissed Smith and Jofra Archer to restrict the Royals at 177/6.
Opting to bat first, Rajasthan Royals got off to a flyer with opening batsman Robin Uthappa bludgeoning the RCB's bowling attack with Ben Stokes playing the role of second fiddle.
Uthappa particularly exploited the leg-side boundaries and smashed the ball all around the park. The Royals scored 50 runs before the completion of the powerplay.
However, Chris Morris in the sixth over dismissed Stokes to put a brake on the peddle. Sanju Samson then joined Uthappa in the middle and the duo looked good until Yuzvendra Chahal spun a web and sent both the batsmen back in the dugout on consecutive balls.
Chahal two in two helped RCB bounce back in the game as the Royals got reduced to 69/3. Steve Smith and Jos Buttler then rebuilt innnings as the Royals' completed 100 runs in the 13th over.
The duo stitched a 58 run stand before Morris ended Buttler's stint at the crease in the 16th over. In the death overs, except the 17th one, Smith bludgeoned the RCB's bowling attack and smashed his 11th IPL half-century to steer the Royals to 177 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
Brief score: Rajasthan Royals 177/6 (Robin Uthappa 41, Steve Smith 57, Chris Morris 4-26) lost to RCB 179/3 (AB de Villiers 55*, Virat Kohli 43, Karthik Tyagi 1-32) by seven wickets.
( With inputs from ANI )
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