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De Villiers, Ali keep RCB's play-off hopes alive

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

and struck breezy half-centuries as held their nerves under pressure to eke out a 14-run win over table-toppers in a must-win match and stay afloat in the here today.

Asked to bat, RCB posted a mammoth 218 for six before surviving a scare from Sunrisers (81 off 42) and (62 off 38) to restrict the visitors to 204 for three.

De Villiers (69 off 39) and Ali (65 off 34) overcame a bad start to stitch 107 runs off just 57 balls for the third wicket to not only set the platform for RCB's total but also keep their team in contention.

Chasing the mammoth total, Sunrisers started on a positive note piling up 47 runs off the first five overs before Shikhar Dhawan hit one straight back to Yuzvendra Chahal off his own in the next over.

(37 off 24) was going great guns before De Villiers pulled off a blinder of a one-handed catch at midwicket boundary off Ali to sent the Englishman back.

But Williamson had other intentions as he took the attack to the opposition and hit for consecutive boundaries before clobbering Ali for two fours and six in the next over to keep his team abreast with the required run rate.

Williamson went about his business in elegant fashion without taking much risk and was ably supported by Pandey at the other end as the duo stitched magnificent 135 runs for the second wicket off just 68 deliveries to virtually take Sunrisers home.

Williamsion, in particular, looked in sublime touch as he struck the balls to all parts of the ground without taking any undue risk, while Pandey took his time to get going.

But eventually the asking rate proved to be too tall for Sunrisers as Southee produced some brilliant death display to deny an improbable win for the visitors.

South produced a brilliant 16th over that yielded just six runs and then came back an over later to give Sunrisers a 20-run target from the last over.

But it was not to be as Williamson's dismissal in the first delivery of the final over sealed Sunrisers fate and they eventually fell short by 14 runs.

By virtue of this win, RCB climb up to the fifth spot with 12 points from 13 games and need to win their last league game against Rajasthan Royals in on Saturday to harbour any play-off hopes.

Earlier, Afghanistan's leg-spinner once again shone bright with the ball for Sunrisers with figures of 3/27 from his four over.

But Sunrisers were off to a great start as they reduced RCB to 38 for two inside five overs after opting to field.

(1/40) struck the first blow with the last ball of the opening over, removing Parthiv Patel caught by at third man boundary.

De Villiers then got into the act for RCB, hitting some exquisite boundaries off and Sandeep before Rashid cleaned up (12) with a googly in the fifth over.

Brought into the attack in the eighth over, leaked runs as Ali smashed consecutive sixes off the pacer -- first over mid-off and then over square-leg boundary -- to give momentum to RCB's innings.

De Villiers brought up his fifty off 32 balls with two consecutive boundaries off Kaul (2/44) in the 12th over and then Ali followed suit notching up his maiden IPL half-century with a four of Thampi in the next over.

The duo went hammer and tongs as an otherwise tidy Sunrisers attack looked clueless in front of the onslaught.

But just when it seemed the duo would run away with their power-hitting, Rashid struck twin blows in the 15th over removing both the set batsmen.

De Villiers perished in search of a big shot caught by Dhawan at deep square leg while Ali reverse-paddled a delivery to Sreevats Goswami behind the stumps a ball later.

While De Villiers struck as many as 12 fours and one six, Ali's innings was laced with two boundaries and six hits over the fence.

Thereafter, used his brute power to score 40 runs off just 17 balls while remained unbeaten on 22 off 8 balls to provide the late impetus to RCB's innings.

It turned out to be a forgettable day for Thampi as he conceded the most runs by a bowler in an innings in the history of IPL. He leaked 70 runs from his dour overs.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 18 2018. 00:05 IST
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