Pune: Captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers smashed brisk half centuries to guide Royal Challengers Bangalore to a well-deserved 13-run win over Rising Pune Supergiants in an Indian Premier League match, here on Friday.
Sent into bat, RCB rode on De Villiers’ 83 off 46 balls with the help of six boundaries and two sixes and Kohli’s 80 off 63 deliveries, during which he struck seven fours and two hits over the fence, to post a fighting 185 for five.
Later, RCB bowlers rose to the occasion and somehow just managed to restrict Pune to 172 for eight.
Chasing the target, Pune had a horrid start to their chase, slumping to 18 for two by the end of the third over.
Ajinkya Rahane (60 off 46 balls) started off the chase in great fashion, hitting Stuart Binny for two classical boundaries in the first over.
But thereafter Pune’s chase went haywire as Faf du Plessis (2) departed in the next over when he was caught by Harshal Patel off Kane Richardson (3/13) at mid-off which was followed by Kevin Pietersen’s retirement after he pulled his calf muscle while going for a single in the next over.
To make matters worse for Pune, Steven Smith (4) was run out in the third over by a direct hit from Kohli.
Then Rahane and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (41) shared 91 runs off 73 balls for the third wicket to keep Pune afloat.
Rahane was the initiator in the partnership while Dhoni tried to give him company to build a partnership.
Rahane made 60 off 46 balls with the help of eight boundaries before the ever climbing asking rate took a toll on him.
He fell in the 15th over stumped by KL Rahul off debutant chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi (1/36) while going for an extravagant shot.
An over later, Dhoni departed also in the pursuit of a big shot, caught at long-off by De Villiers off Harshal Patel (1/46).
But there was more drama in store as Thissara Perera (34 off 13 balls) and Rajat Bhatia (21 off 1) shared quickfire 44 runs off just 14 balls to raise the hopes of Pune.