Mohali witnessed an absolute gem of a thriller between the Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore. The game had very little to separate the two sides, as the margin of victory for the Royal Challengers Bangalore was just one run. Kings XI’s skipper M. Vijay’s heroics were not good enough to see his side through in a rather tricky run chase, where he alone was the spine of his side’s batting.
For the Royal Challengers, it was once again the magic of AB De Villiers which did the trick. The marauding batsman was simply flawless as he not just steadied the ship, but also ensured that his side got to a healthy total. De Villiers’s strikes in the latter overs helped the Royal Challengers to gather some momentum. In the end, an accurate 19th over from Shane Watson was another masterstroke for the visitors.
In the post-match presentation, Virat Kohli praised AB De Villiers for his heroics. “Poker face. Absolute poker face. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tense. We can’t complain. Beggars are not choosers. Just happy with the two point. I would credit Vijay the way he batted. The wicket wasn’t easy in the middle period. But he picked his areas. KL was going well so I thought of hanging there. Losing two wickets in an over is criminal. No one better than AB in the death overs, the way he executed those yorkers over square leg for sixes. No one would have been able to do that,” said a relieved Kohli.
Man of the Match Shane Watson was ecstatic with his performance as he gave away just 22 runs and took a couple of wickets. “It’s definitely nice to get a bit of momentum for the RCB. We have had our ups and downs throughout the tournament. It was as close as it gets but nice to put smiles on a lot of faces. At the top of the mark, I want to be clear about what I want to bowl. Have no doubts. Then think about how to execute when I’m running in. It’s about trying to preempt what the batsman will do. With the quality of batsmen in this era, it’s quite challenging,” said Watson.