Sharjah: A clinical bowling display, led by spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar, after AB de Villiers' batting pyrotechnics helped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by a massive 82 runs in a lopsided Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Sharjah on Monday.
De Villiers smashed a sensational 33-ball 73 not out to power RCB to 194 for 2 after opting to bat. Then the RCB spin duo of Sundar (2/20) and his senior partner Chahal (1/12) reduced the match to a no-contest, stifling KKR to 112 for 9 in 20 overs.
Pacer Chris Morris (2/17) chipped in at the death to hand RCB a comprehensive win.
The win lifted RCB to third spot with 10 points from seven matches, while KKR dropped one place down to fourth with eight points as the league reached the halfway stage.
It was Navdeep Saini who drew first blood for RCB, spoiling the debut of talented Tom Banton (8) as KKR's ploy to open with the Englishman came a cropper.
The under-rated Sundar was top class and virtually derailed the KKR run chase with the prized-scalp of an in-form Eoin Morgan (8) and Nitish Rana (9).
There was also a run out of a well-set opener Shubman Gill (34 from 25 balls) during Sundar's miserly spell as KKR batsmen struggled to get going.
Chahal accounted for KKR's last match hero and captain Dinesh Karthik (1) who dragged one to his stumps, deceived by the flight, while their star player Andre Russell continued his poor outing with a 10-ball 16.
Earlier, de Villiers produced a batting masterclass to lift the RCB total to 194 for 2 after a mid-innings muddle.
Opener Aaron Finch (47 from 37 balls) and captain Virat Kohli (33 not out) were the other notable contributors.
Bowling in absence of their ace spinner Sunil Narine, who was left out after being reported for suspect action, KKR bowlers were able to put some brakes on RCB batsmen on a pitch that was slowing down.
Spinner Varun Chakravarthy bowled a tidy 0/25 from four overs, while young pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti (0/36 from 4 overs) cleverly mixed up his deliveries to good effect.
With boundaries drying up, de Villiers unleashed his array of shots against a disciplined Nagarkoti, smashing him for consecutive sixes, over midwicket, one of which hit a running car.
The South African raced to his fifty in 23 balls as RCB smashed 83 runs from the last five overs to prop up the total.
Earlier RCB openers Finch and Padikkal (32) got off to a flying start and took the attack on KKR new-ball bowlers Pat Cummins and Prasidh Krishna.
Finch clubbed one out of the stadium in Prasidh's first over, while the talented youngster Padikkal hit back-to-back boundaries off Cummins.
But boundaries soon dried up after the Power-Play with Russell giving the breakthrough by cleaning up Padikkal with a fuller delivery.
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