IPL 2018: RCB keep slim play-off hopes alive after fifties from Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers

Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers

RCB comfortably beat DD to register their fourth win in 11 games and keep their slim play-off hopes alive in IPL 2018 on Saturday.

Chasing 182 to win at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, RCB lost both openers – Moeen Ali and Parthiv Patel – early but after that Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers added 118 to bring the chase back on track.

Kohli eventually departed after a 40-ball 70.

Following his departure, Mandeep Singh and Sarfaraz Khan’s wickets gave Delhi a little hope but de Villiers (72 off 37 balls) stayed till the end to quash those hopes completely. RCB chased down the target in 19 overs with five wickets in hand.

It was Delhi’s 9th defeat in 12 games.

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Earlier in the day, already out of the play-off reckoning in IPL 2018, DD, in an attempt to unearth new talent, handed debuts to Abhishek Sharma and Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane.

At the end of their innings after being put into bat, DD were justified by Abhishek’s blistering 19-ball 46 not out as the hosts reached a competitive total of 181/4. Abhishek, who was an important part of India’s Under-19 World Cup-winning team in New Zealand earlier this year, hit three fours and four sixes during the course of his innings.

Rishabh Pant (61 off 34 balls) once again came to Delhi’s rescue who had lost both openers in the Powerplay. However, once he and captain Shreyas Iyer got out in quick succession, it seemed the hosts will struggle to get even 150 on the board.

At 120/4 in 15.1 overs, Abhishek joined Vijay Shankar at the crease and he didn’t take long to show his talent. In the 17th over bowled by Tim Southee he picked up sixes off back-to-back balls to stun the visitors not a little.

It was no mean feat for a 17-year-old – hitting an international bowler out of the park twice with ease. It was a shame that the Amritsar-born left-hander couldn’t reach his fifty.

But if he had got those four runs, he would have become the youngest to score a fifty in the history of the league at 17 years and 250 days.

Delhi had secured Abhishek’s services for just Rs 55 lakh earlier this year.

DD’s another debutant Lamichhane also gave a good account of himself and accounted for Patel for 6 in the third over by means of an lbw.