Pune: A scintillating knock of 83 runs off 46 balls by AB de Villiers and a superb innings from skipper Virat Kohli helped Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Rising Pune Supergiants by 13 runs in the IPL encounter at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune on Friday.
Kohli said that the match got closer than he thought it would be at one stage, but good his team won it. “We were playing good cricket. Shane Watson showed his experience and Kane Richardson was good as well. It was good to see the guys not panic.”
In all praise for de Villeirs, Kohli said, “We spoke about 175-180, but I wasn't happy with myself, the way I batted after 30-35 balls. But I figured out it was important to stay in with AB. He kept me going and told me to play the anchor role so that he could play his shots. The surface didn't have that much bounce to hit shots at will. AB is the best batsmen in our generation. It's a pleasure to bat alongside him. The way he communicates, he's a selfless person. He doesn't care about his own plans, but help people around him. He's a better human being than a batsman.”
AB de Villiers, who was Man-of-the-Match, for his 83 off 46 balls, said, “It wasn't easy to get going. I got away with a couple of easy boundaries. Both my sweeps didn't come off the middle, but went for six. But generally, I'm pleased with my performance. Their batting line-up was all class. Dhoni and Rahane took it deep, and we knew Thisara would keep us on our toes. He was striking it well. Happy that we crossed the line.”
Meanwhile, Pune Supergiants captain MS Dhoni said, “We lost three wickets for nothing. Faf got out, then KP got injured and Steven Smith got run-out. It was a par-plus score. With three batsmen back in, I thought the target was difficult to achieve. But I'm happy with the way we came close. KP's injury can be a blessing in disguise. We're playing with six bowlers, yet our death bowling isn't great. Maybe we can look to bring in Albie Morkel or Mitch Marsh in the next game. With the kind of players we've got, it has always been difficult to drop someone. We need to strengthen our bowling line a bit. I feel overall with less pressure and a few more games, M Ashwin will get better.”