Kings XI Punjab 150 for 2 (Amla 58*, Maxwell 43*) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 148 (De Villiers 89*, Aaron 2-21) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
AB de Villiers, returning from a back injury and replacing Chris Gayle, made a jaw-dropping 89 off 46 balls, but the rest of Royal Challengers Bangalore was so woeful that Kings XI Punjab won with 33 balls to spare.
De Villiers arrived in the second over but by the end of the 15th, he had faced only 28 balls and scored 31 runs. Mandeep Singh and Stuart Binny had taken most of the strike and scored at less than a run a ball. In the last five overs, though, de Villiers faced 18 deliveries and scored 58 off them. He helped RCB double their 15-over score of 71 and was the sole reason they got 148.
A measure of how poor the rest of the RCB batsmen were, though, was how easily a collective effort from Kings XI overhauled the target. Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla and Glenn Maxwell timed the ball sublimely under lights and took the RCB seamers for more than ten runs an over. Kings XI's eight-wicket win was their second in two games, while RCB suffered their second defeat in three.
RCB strangled in the Powerplay
In their previous match against Rising Pune Supergiant at the same venue on Saturday, Kings XI bowled 14 dots in the Powerplay. Against RCB, Sandeep Sharma alone bowled 14. In all Kings XI sent down 22 dots, limiting RCB to 23 for 3; only four times in the past had RCB made a lower Powerplay score.
Before this match, Axar Patel had dismissed Shane Watson every time they had faced off in the IPL. So it made sense for Axar to take the new ball against Watson and he maintained his perfect record when Watson dragged an arm ball back onto the stumps. Sandeep sent down a volley of swinging deliveries but it was the short ball that coaxed a top edge from Vishnu Vinod.
De Villiers repairs damage
De Villiers rusty? You've got to be kidding. He deftly guided his first ball to the point boundary. He then watched his team-mates starve him of the strike, and fall into the hole Kings XI had dug for them. The pitch was quicker than the one used for the match against Rising Pune. Varun Aaron, picked in place of left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh, Axar, and Marcus Stoinis tucked RCB up, and ensured they did not score a boundary for 38 balls in the middle overs.
De Villiers then switched into super-batsman mode: carving near-yorkers for fours and launching length balls on to the roof - or over the roof - of the stadium. He even struck a six over cover despite being off balance and having to reach far away from his body. He hit eight sixes and a four in the last five overs of the innings.
Nailing the chase
Vohra likes pace on the ball. Before this match, he scored at 8.39 an over against pace in the IPL, and 6.78 against spin. He kick-started the chase with three fours in four balls off Watson. Amla also prospered, hitting on the up, as Kings XI shaved 50 off the target in five overs. Tymal Mills came into the attack next over and pinned Vohra lbw with a slower legcutter, but Amla progressed to a typically serene fifty. At the other end, Maxwell produced more unorthodox shots - ramps and golf-swings - and a chastening loss was inevitable for RCB.
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo