IPL 2018: AB de Villiers shows his class and other talking points as Royal Challengers Bangalore open their account

Ashish Peter 13/04/2018
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De Villiers' excellent fifty won it for the hosts.

Royal Challengers Bangalore got their first points on the board in the IPL as they beat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Friday.

Virat Kohli’s men did well to bowl out Kings XI for 155 runs before getting over the finish line in the chase during the final over. With this win, the Royal Challengers have started in perfect fashion on their home turf after a dismal last season where they won just one out of seven in Bangalore.

Here, we look at the key talking points from Royal Challenger’s first win.

YADAV’S ELECTRIC SPELL BREAKS KINGS XI’S BACK

Kings XI opener KL Rahul picked up exactly from where he left off in his record fastest fifty against the Delhi Daredevils as he smashed Chris Woakes for two sixes in the very first over. Soon the visitors raced away to 32/0 in three overs before Umesh Yadav turned up with an over for the ages.

Charging in at full pace, the Indian bowler dismissed Mayank Agarwal after the right-hander was caught behind while attempting a flashy cover drive. Aaron Finch, who had only recently joined up with the Kings XI squad from Australia, lasted only one ball after being struck on the pads by Yadav.

A hat-trick was prevented by Yuvraj Singh but the veteran had no answer to Yadav’s ripping in-swinging delivery that sent the middle-stump for a walk. Within the space of six balls, Kings XI’s top-order was back in the pavilion with RCB in total command.

RAHUL FALLS SHORT OF CONSECUTIVE FIFTIES

Back on the ground of his former employers, Rahul’s splendid start on Friday might have had Royal Challengers wondering if they had missed a trick by not picking up the opening batsman for the 2018 edition.

After his two sweetly timed sixes off Woakes in the first over, Rahul continued to play his free-flowing strokes despite Yadav wreaking havoc at the other end. He would smash two more sixes as he quickly raced away to 47 off just 29 deliveries. Looking good for another half-century after his 14-ball blitzkrieg against the Delhi Daredevils, Rahul’s innings was cut short by young Washington Sundar.

Attempting a slog sweep against the off-spinner, Rahul could only manage a top-edge which was gobbled up easily by Sarfaraz Khan at short third-man.

DE VILLIERS SHOWS HIS CLASS TO WIN IT FOR THE HOSTS

Despite having a modest total to chase on what looked like a good track, the hosts had lost their way by the half-way mark of their innings. At 87/4, the visitors would have sniffed a chance of a sneaky victory but those hopes were quelled as soon as AB de Villiers found his range.

Starting circumspectly, the South African ace saved his best for the death overs with the asking-rate climbing to above 10 per over as he smashed Mujeeb ur Rahman for consecutive sixes in the 17th over.

The right-handed batsman swatted Mohit Sharma for another massive six in the next over to bring up a fine half-century off just 36 balls. By the time he departed in the penultimate over for 57, De Villiers had already ensured victory for the Royal Challengers. It was an innings of pure class from the stalwart and it came when they needed it the most.

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IPL 2018: Umesh Yadav takes three wickets in an over to halt Kings XI's charge at Bangalore

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Yadav's fiery spell brought RCB roaring back into the game.

Royal Challengers Pacer Umesh Yadav turned the IPL clash against Kings XI Pinjab on its head with a dream over in which he ended up with three wickets.

Batting first, Kings XI Punjab openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal gave the visitors the perfect start at Bengaluru as they raced away to 32-0 within three overs.

Yadav himself had an expensive opening over where he went for nine runs. But what would happen in his next over might well be the pivotal moment of the match.

With the very first delivery, Yadav had Agarwal caught behind excellently by a diving Quinton de Kock to give Royal Challengers their breakthrough. Up next for the visitors was Australia’s Aaron Finch, a man who has been enjoying a purple patch with the bat for some time now.

The Aussie was greeted with a first-ball dismissal in his very first match of IPL 2018 after Yadav wrapped him on the pads. Finch’s hopeful review of the decision would prove futile as the replays confirmed what was apparent to the naked guy.

With two in two, Yadav had Yuvraj Singh to contend with for the hat-trick ball but the veteran batsman was untroubled as he hit a crisp drive towards cover. After another dot-ball followed, the Indian pacer had Yuvraj in trouble with his fifth delivery. The Kings XI batsman’s attempted pull just sailed over the fielder at the boundary for a four.

Yadav however, would have the last laugh as he sent in a ripper of a fuller-delivery that was too quick for Yuvraj’s defence as it shattered the middle-stump.

From 32-0, Yadav over had left Kings XI reeling at 36-3 by the time he was done as Royal Challengers came roaring back into the clash.

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IPL 2018 Preview: Mumbai Indians desperate to get over final hurdle

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Mumbai Indians lost the first two matches of the IPL. Both games went down to the wire with Mumbai finishing on the losing side by just one wicket.

As they host Delhi Daredevils at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, Mumbai can either draw confidence from the fact they came achingly close to victory on two occasions or worry that they couldn’t close out the match.

The Delhi Daredevils are themselves looking for their first win of the tournament.

TALKING POINTS

The absence of Hardik Pandya has upset the balance of the Mumbai Indians team. He did not feature in the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad due to an ankle injury he picked up in the first game and his replacement Ben Cutting didn’t score many runs and went for 40 from his four overs.

If Hardik remains injured, his brother Krunal will have to take more responsibility and possibly move up the order, pushing wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan down.

Seamers Jasprit Bumrah (2-32) and Mustafizur Rahman (3-24) were very good against Hyderabad, which means at least one base is covered for Mumbai.

The Daredevils look some way away from finding their rhythm. Opener Colin Munro has failed in two matches. He is one player who can hold the team together at the top and with the ball but that hasn’t happened.

PLAYERS IN FOCUS

Mumbai Indians have unearthed a gem in leg-spinner Mayank Markande. Seven wickets in his first two IPL games means it is impossible to look beyond his leg-spinners and googlies. The nerves must have settled by now and Markande should be in a position to dictate terms.

Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell needs to do a lot better than an indifferent 12-ball 17 against Rajasthan. Maxwell has a big role to play with the bat and ball and given his experience, expect him to make his presence felt sooner rather than later.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Mumbai Indians: Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan (wk), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya*, Mustafizur Rahman, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande

Delhi Daredevils: Colin Munro, Gautam Gambhir(c), Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Rishabh Pant (wk), Chris Morris, Vijay Shankar, Rahul Tewatia, Shahbaz Nadeem, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami

*Subject to fitness

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