T20 2018: AB de Villiers delivers as Bangalore beat Punjab by 4 wickets
South African big-hitter scores 40-ball 57 as Bangalore beat Punjab by four wickets to register their first win of T20-11
Bangalore's AB de Villiers in full flow against Punjab at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore yesterday. Pics/AFP, PTI
For a change Virat Kohli made no change to his playing XI, choosing to field the same team that played their opener in Kolkata. The faith paid off as first the bowling unit, given a chance on a fresh Chinnaswamy Stadium track, played their part well to bowl Punjab out for a modest 155.
The batsmen then took over, albeit not in a very convincing manner, to eke out a very welcome four-wicket win for the home side that had lost six of their seven games here last season. Big-hitter AB de Villiers was the top-scorer with a quickfire 40-ball 57.
Bangalore's Umesh Yadav (right) celebrates the wicket of Punjab Aaron Finch yesterday
The night that ended well didn't start so for Bangalore what with one of Punjab's Bangalore players, opener KL Rahul getting off to a fine start. Rahul took 16 runs off Chris Woakes opening over. With fellow Bangalorean Mayank Agarwal too chipping in, the Punjab board read a more than healthy 32 after three overs.
Then came the Umesh Yadav's T20 strike as he got rid of Agarwal, Aaron Finch and crowd favourite Yuvraj Singh all in the same over. It was blows that Punjab recovered from through another all-Bangalore partnership, Rahul (47, 30b, 2x4, 4x6) and Karun Nair (29, 26b) adding 58. But then Bangalore struck through Washington Sundar and Kulwant Khejroliya to peg Punjab back. It took a skipper's knock of 33 (21b, 3x4, 1x6) by R Aswhin to push them past 150.
The match though was won by Ashwin's Test team skipper Virat Kohli, who contributed a good-looking 21 before a googly from Afghan off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (yes you read it right, it was a goodly from an offie) did him in. Brendon McCullum had earlier gone for a first ball duck but the two South Africans, opener Quinton de Kock (45, 34b, 7x4, 1x6) first and De Villiers (57, 40b, 2x4, 4x6) later delivered the goods as Bangalore got home with four balls to spare.