There are very few sights better than seeing Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers batting together on a cricket field. However, the fans could not quite witness the magic from the star duo in the ongoing season. However, on Saturday, the duo were at their devastating best as they together dismantled Delhi Daredevils to fire Royal Challengers Bangalore to a 5-wicket win in a must win clash.
Asked to bat first, the Daredevils posted a competitive total of 181 for 4 in the allotted 20 overs. Red-hot Rishabh Pant once again starred with the bat, scoring 61 off just 34 while debutant teenager Abhishek Sharma scored 46 off just 19 balls.
Delhi suffered their first blow in the opening over itself when Yuzvendra Chahal castled the in-form Prithvi Shaw. In his next over, Chahal struck again to remove Jason Roy. Pant and Shreyas Iyer then came together to add 93 runs over the next 62 deliveries. Pant was the aggressor during the stand while Iyer played the role of the second fiddle as Delhi overcame some early hiccups.
The 17-year-old Sharma then gave the finishing touches to the innings, smashing 46 off just 19 balls.
In reply, Royal Challengers reached home on the last ball of the 19th over. The Kohli-led side was in a spot of bother after losing both its openers – Parthiv Patel and Moeen Ali – with just 18 runs on the board. From thereon, it was Kohli and de Villiers show as they kept their team’s hopes alive.
The duo put on 118 runs for the third wicket with Delhi bowlers not having any answers for their brilliance. By the time Amit Mishra sent Kohli back, he had scored 70 off just 40 deliveries with three sixes and seven boundaries. De Villiers, on the other hand, remained till the end and sealed the game in stunning style with consecutive sixes off Trent Boult. The South Africa star scored 72 off just 37 balls with the help of four fours and 6 sixes.
Following the win, Kohli took to Instagram to express his delight over the match-winning stand with de Villiers as well as the win, writing:
“Have always loved batting with this guy. Makes things simpler for the person at the other end. Today was yet another special partnership. Glad to finish on a winning note.”