De Villiers and Kohli crush Delhi for Bangalore in IPL
NEW DELHI: Half-centuries by AB de Villiers and captain Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore past Delhi Daredevils by five wickets and in the run for the Indian Premier League playoffs on Saturday.
At Indore, Kolkata Knight Riders racked up its biggest total in the IPL and defeated Kings XI Punjab by 31 runs.
De Villiers (72 not out) and Kohli (70 off 40 balls) finally showed their class in a 118-run, third-wicket match-winning stand as Bangalore reached 187-5 with an over to spare.
Delhi, out of contention for the playoffs, scored 181-4 after Kohli won the toss and opted to field.
Rishabh Pant (61) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (32) revived Delhi's innings after legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal (2-28) removed both openers in his first two overs.
Pant and Iyer put on 93 runs for the third wicket, and Abhishek Sharma smashed 46 off 19 balls as Delhi scored 61 runs in the last five overs.
Kohli hit seven fours and three sixes before he was caught behind off legspinner Amit Mishra while going for a drive over covers.
But de Villiers, who hit six sixes and four boundaries in his 37-ball knock, made sure Bangalore didn't suffer any more hiccups and raised the victory by smashing Trent Boult (2-40) over the long off boundary.
Bangalore moved to seventh in the standings after its fourth win, and needs to win its remaining three games to stay in the hunt for the top four.
Delhi remained at the bottom of the table after a ninth loss in 12 games.
"The table is wide open, right time to get the win," Kohli said.
"Bowling first is better in this stage, because it's easier for batsmen to take responsibility. You can almost set up the game how you like. That's what works for our boys."
At Indore, Sunil Narine's blistering 75 off 36 balls and captain Dinesh Karthik's robust 50 off 23 lifted Kolkata to a massive 245-6 after Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin won the toss and opted to chase on a small ground.
Lokesh Rahul (66) hit his third successive half-century in the chase but the rest of the Punjab top order fell against Andre Russell (3-41). Ashwin made a quick 45 in vain as his team fell short on 214-8.
Kolkata moved to fourth, behind Punjab on net run-rate. But Punjab also has a game in hand.
Narine capitalized on an early dropped catch when Mujeebur Rahman injured his bowling hand in his second over while attempting a difficult return catch.
The Afghanistan spinner went off for scans. When he returned to the field in the 16th over, he was smashed for two fours and two sixes by Karthik.
Chris Lynn (27) and Narine provided Kolkata a brisk start of 53 off 32 balls before Lynn dragged the ball back onto his stumps while attempting a pull shot off seamer Andrew Tye, who took 4-41.
Narine, who smashed nine boundaries and four sixes, then added 75 quick runs with Robin Uthappa (24) before Tye returned and dismissed both batsmen in the 12th over.
But Mujeeb's absence due to injury cost Punjab heavily in the middle overs as Karthik and Andre Russell (31) propelled the innings with a 76-run fourth-wicket stand off just 31 balls.
Tye once again got the breakthrough when Russell top-edged a short-pitched delivery and Karthik also holed out at long off after hitting five fours and three sixes.
Rahul continued his scintillating form in the IPL by smacking two fours and seven sixes as Punjab's top order crumbled around him.
Chris Gayle went for 21 as Russell got two wickets off successive deliveries in the sixth over. Russell found a thin edge off Gayle's mistimed pull and Mayank Agarwal followed next ball as he holed out in the deep while also attempting a pull shot.
Rahul chopped Narine back onto his stumps while going for a sweep and, when Axar Patel couldn't clear left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav and was caught at long off, Punjab hopes all but ended at 119-5 in the 12th over.