M. Chinnaswamy Stadium saw an extraordinary batting display on Tuesday in the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions.

Ab de Villiers smashing innings singlehandedly led Royal Challengers Bangalore to become the first qualifying team of the ongoing IPL season. RCB thrashed Gujarat with a thrilling four-wicket win.

RCB won the toss and opted to field first. Gujarat got off to a disastrous start as their openers Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch were sent back in the second over by left-arm spinner Abdullah. Gujarat was two wickets down with just nine runs on the scoreboard; Suresh Raina came to bat but was dismissed by Sreenath Aravind off Shane Watson’s bowling when he was playing at 1 in the fourth over.

Dwayne Smith
image source: espncricinfo.com

The top order Batsmen of Gujarat were crumbling until Dinesh Karthik and Dwayne Smith came to bat. Smith rose to the rescue of Gujarat Lions as he smashed 73 runs off 41 balls including five fours and six sixes. Dinesh Karthik scored 26 runs off 30 balls including two fours.

Dinesh Karthik
image source: espncricinfo.com

The contribution of Smith and Karthik saved the day for Gujarat and helped them to cross 150 runs. Other than these two Eklavya Dwivedi too contributed with his 19 runs knock off 9 balls while other batsmen of Gujarat disappointed badly.

Ravindra Jadeja (3), Dwayne Bravo (8), Praveen Kumar (1) and Dhawal Kulkarni (10) fell down too early and failed to contribute in Gujarat’s total. After 15 over Gujarat was on 104 with the loss of 4 wickets but Smith and Dwivedi powered the team but Virat Kohli came to rescue RCB and took two excellent catches  to send back Smith and Dwivedi.

RCB did not allow Lions to make a big total and after Gujarat innings, they put up a decent total of 158 runs with the loss of 10 wickets.

Chasing a target of 159 runs RCB got off shakily as they lost Virat Kohli for a duck in the second over and his opening partner Chris Gayle was also dismissed in the fourth over when he was playing at 9.

Three batsmen of RCB suffered duck-out fate including Virat Kohli, Lokesh Rahul and Sachin Baby. Shane Watson too was dismissed at 1 in the 5th over of the game. It was De Villiers who took the charge and cruised RCB to a glorious win with the help of Stuart Binny and Iqbal Abdulla.

AB de Villiers
image source: espncricinfo.com

Ab De Villiers remained unbeaten as he smashed 79 runs off 47 balls for his team with five fours and five sixes. He played slowly and patiently initially but after 15th over he struck like a lightning bolt. Binny played a quick fire of 21 runs off 15 balls including two boundaries and 1 six but was dismissed by Jadeja in the 10th over.

Iqbal Abdulla
image source: espncricinfo.com

Abdulla came and supported De Villiers, he smashed 33 runs off 25 balls with 3 fours and one six. They have managed to score runs quickly and claimed the victory in the 9th over.

An unbroken partnership of 91 runs in 52 balls between Abdulla and De Villiers snatch the victory from the Lions with 10 balls to spare.

25 May, 2016
Avni S. Singh

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