BENGALURU: Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen AB De Villiers and Iqbal Abdullah
guided the team to a four-wicket win against Gujarat Lions in the first
qualifier of IPL match on Tuesday at the Chinnaswami stadium here.
RCB scored 159/6 to snatch the victory from the Lions with 10 balls to spare.
With an asking rate of 7.5 runs in 20 overs, Royal Challengers started off shakily, losing wickets early.
Lions bowler Dhawal Kulkarni ripped apart RCB top order, castling both
the openers Virat Kohli for duck and Chris Gayle nine.
Three Royal Challengers batsmen suffered duck-out fate, Kohli, Rahul and Baby.
RCB was 65/5 midway through the sixth over and lost another wicket before the end of 10 overs.
was at this difficult juncture that star South African batsman De
Villiers took the onus of steering the team to victory aided by Stuart
Binny (21) and Abdulla (33) later.
De Villiers remained unbeaten
at 79 in 47 balls with five fours and five sixes, playing slowly and
responsibly initially but breaking free later after the 15th over to
ensure the match was safe in the hands of Royal Challengers.
and De Villiers managed to grab 16 and 15 runs respectively in the 15th
and 16th overs to lower the asking rate to 32 runs in 23 balls by the
And halfway through the 18th over, De Villiers and
Abdullah managed to even the required number of runs and balls at 15 and
finally claim the victory in the 19th over.
The batsmen constructed an unbroken partnership of 91 runs in 52 balls.
came out with the best bowling figures for Gujarat Lions with 4/14 with
a splendid economy of just 3.50 while Jadeja was the only other bowler
to claim wickets for the Lions with bowling figures of 2/21.
Gujarat Lions set RCB a target of 159 runs after Dwayne Smith (73)
saved the day for the visitors, enabling them to cross 150 runs.
openers Brendon McCullum (1) and Aaron Finch (4) departed in the second
over off left-arm spinner Abdullah, Smith rose to the rescue of his
team with 73 runs in 41 balls, smashing five fours and six sixes.
just nine runs on the score board and two wickets down, Gujarat lost
another crucial wicket, Suresh Raina (1) was caught by Sreenath Aravind
off Shane Watson's bowling in the fourth over.
With the top order crumbling, no boundaries were hit even after four overs, until Smith hit two in the fifth over.
Dinesh Karthik (26) and Eklavya Dwivedi (19) made some contribution
with the bat to put a respectable total, while other batsmen fizzled -
Ravindra Jadeja (3), Dwayne Bravo (8), Praveen Kumar (5) and Dhawal
After 15 overs, the Lions managed to score 104/4
but Smith and Dwivedi powered it ahead until Royal Challengers captain
Virat Kohli held two excellent catches in the long on area to send back
Smith and Dwivedi, who had hit two sixes in the 19th.
Electing to field first after winning the toss helped Kohli in not allowing a big total to the Lions.
4/29 produced the best bowling figures, followed by Chris Jordan with
2/26 and Abdulla with 2/38, while bowling mainstay Yuzvendra Chahal
managed only a wicket.
De Villiers was adjudged the man of the match for his winning knock.
Challenger Bangalore 159/6 in 18.2 overs (Abraham De Villiers 79, Iqbal
Abdullah 33; Dhawal Kulkarni 4/14, Ravindra Jadeja 2/21) beat Gujarat
Lions 158 in 20 overs (Dwayne Smith 73, Dinesh Karthik 26; Shane Watson
4/29, Chris Jordan 2/26)