AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali smashed quickfire half-centuries to propel Royal Challengers Bangalore to an imposing 218 for six against table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad in a must-win Indian Premier League match here today.
Sent into bat, 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 set the platform for RCB's total.
Afghanistan's leg-spinner Rashid Khan 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.
Brought into the attack in the eighth over, Basil Thampi 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 bowling 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 Shikhar 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.
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.
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