Quinton de Kock produced one of the most memorable knocks of the IPL to steer Delhi Daredevils to a 7-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. The South African, ably aided by Karun Nair, scored 108 runs of just 51 balls as DD chased down a daunting target of 192.
Chasing a daunting target of 192, Delhi got off to a poor start after a moment of brilliance from Shane Watson and David Wiese dismissed Shreyas Iyer. The Delhi batsman, looking to hit Sreenath Aravind down the ground, lifted the ball high up in the air. Watson ran back from mid-on to take a brilliant catch, but his momentum carried him over the boundary. However, before he crossed the fence, Watson threw the ball back towards Wiese, who dived and grabbed the ball just inches off the boundary line.
Despite the early wicket, Quinton de Kock took the attack to the opposition. The South African went after Parvez Rasool and hit him for three boundaries in the second over. Delhi brought up their 50 in the fifth over and seemed well on track to reach the target.
Watson removed Samson in the final over of the powerplay with a well directed short delivery, however, Karun Nair and de Kock kept the scoreboard ticking over nicely, with at least one boundary coming in each over. De Kock brought up his 50, in just 22 balls, by sweeping Wiese past the short fine leg fielder.
The duo kept the required run rate in check and even bettered it from time to time. Karun Nair played a matured knock at one end – rotating the strike over to his more explosive partner – while de Kock continued producing magical shots after shots at the other end. The southpaw kept striking the ball cleanly and in the 14th over, he took Wiese to the cleaners – including a massive six off a free hit.
Slowly, Karun Nair opened up his arms as well and completed a well-deserved half-century. De Kock also completed his century in the 18th over, as the Bengaluru crowd witnessed one of the most memorable innings in IPL's history. His stay, eventually, came to an end when he edged one behind to the keeper, but even Watson, who took his wicket, applauded him off the crease. The match was virtually done and dusted by then though. JP Duminy and Nair knocked off the remaining runs in 19.1 overs and guided their team to a 7-wicket win.
Earlier, Royal Challengers Bangalore came into this fixture on the back of a convincing win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, where AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli guided them to a mammoth total. At the toss, Kohli announced two changes to the squad as David Wiese and Sreenath Aravind replaced Adam Milne and Stuart Binny.
Zaheer Khan was in a jovial mood at the toss and asked RCB to bat first after winning it. The left arm pacer also insisted that the decision was based on Kohli's record while chasing targets. They made one change to their lineup with Mohammed Shami coming in place of Jayant Yadav.
The Delhi skipper gave his team a fantastic start in the match as he dismissed Chris Gayle for a duck with a beautiful out-swinger. The West Indian, who scored just a run in the last game, made way for AB de Villiers.
The South African immediately went after Zaheer and hit him for two consecutive boundaries to end the over. Soon, Delhi were left to regret the early dismissal of Gayle.
Shami's return to action did not go according to plan as well. Kohli went after him, first flicking him down the fine leg and then driving him through the cover boundary, and de Villiers ended the over by dumping him into the stands with an emphatic pull shot.
The South African looked in imperious form in the middle and almost in a blink of an eye reached his half-century, after carving out a full delivery from Pawan Negi to the point boundary and then pushing him for a single down the ground, in just 25 deliveries.
The Indo-South African duo looked well on their way to repeat the 157-run partnership they produced against Hyderabad in their last game. However, Carlos Brathwaite came on the attack and picked up the wicket of de Villiers in the 12th over to silence the home crowd.
At 107/2, Bengaluru had the perfect platform to put up a massive score on the board, and they needed just one more big partnership to do so. Like in the last game, Watson started founding the fence immediately after coming into the crease, and he took Brathwaite out of the attack by taking 16 runs off him in the 14th over.
Zaheer Khan returned to the attack in the 16th over, and Kohli annihilated him with disdain. After Watson took him over the ropes with a lap sweep, Kohli drove him through the covers, flicked him into the stands over the deep midwicket boundary and then finished the over with another flick, this time along the ground, to the same part of the ground.
Zaheer brought back Shami for his second spell, and the pacer made a huge impact in this spell. He dismissed Watson, ran out Sarfaraz and then topped it up with the all important wicket of Kohli. From 170/2, Bengaluru went to 177/5 in 2 overs. The fall of wickets brought the run rate considerably and RCB fell just short of the 200-run landmark, which looked easily achievable when Kohli and de Villiers were at the crease.
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