AB de Villiers for the Royal Challengers Bangalore
South African veteran AB de Villiers struck a brisk half-century as Royal Challengers Bangalore opened their Indian Premier League Twenty20 campaign with a win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday.
De Villiers smashed 51 off 30 deliveries to guide last year’s wooden spooners Bangalore, captained by Virat Kohli, to 163 for five and a 10-run victory in Dubai.
Bangalore, led by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, bowled out Hyderabad for 153 despite a valiant 61 by Jonny Bairstow.
“It’s amazing and last year we were on the other side of the results,” a delighted Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
“We kept our composure tonight. Yuzi (Chahal) came in and changed the game for us.”
The David Warner-led Hyderabad collapsed from a comfortable 121 for two to be packed off in 19.4 overs with Kohli taking a good outfield catch off Dale Steyn to close out the game.
De Villiers struck his 34th fifty in the IPL after losing Kohli for 14 and innings top-scorer Devdutt Padikkal, who scored 56 on IPL debut.
De Villiers, 36, smashed fours boundaries and two sixes to take his count of hits over the fence to 201 for Bangalore, who are still searching for their maiden IPL title.
“It’s a nice change to get on the right side of a close game early on in the season. We worked very hard for the win,” said de Villiers.
“It’s a great start for us and hopefully a good sign of things to come. I surprised myself to be honest.”
Chahal returned impressive figures of 3-18 from his four overs of leg spin while fast bowlers Navdeep Saini and Shivam Dube claimed two wickets each.
Hyderabad’s Australian paceman Mitchell Marsh injured his ankle while bowling his first over and limped off the ground after sending down just four deliveries.
Warner said Marsh’s injury does not look good as the all-rounder is unable to “put any weight on his leg”.
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