Kings XI demolish Royal Challengers by 8 wickets in IPL

Sandeep Sharma thought he had foxed de Villers when he saw the South African jumping out and pitched short and Villiers, nearly magically, shifted his body weight and somehow retained his balance as he got under the ball to direct it over cover-point for one of his nine sixes, a lot of which were slog-sweeps off pacemen.

Chasing a target of just 149, all that Kings XI required was a calm head leading the way. By the end of the powerplay period, Amla, handed a reprieve on 20, had raced to 26 from 15 balls.

Maxwell finished off things in style, bringing up the winning runs with a six off Chahal as Punjab reached 150/2 in just 14.3 overs.

Once Mandeep fell, Stuart Binny (18 n.o., 20b, 1x4, 1x6) came in, and apart from a couple of balls when he hit a six and a four, he watched from the other end as De Villiers went insane.

Along with Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and de Villiers hold a special place in the hearts of RCB fans.

Shaking off a back injury, de Villiers had returned to the starting 11 at the expense of the explosive Chris Gayle who had failed to fire in the first two matches of the season. Skipper Shane Watson was castled while trying to cut a delivery too close to him, the experiment to open with keeper Vishnu Vinod back fired, while last match's hero Kedar Jadhav was adjudged lbw even as Varun Aaron's delivery looked to be going over the stumps.

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There seems to be more good news for the visitors' camp as their star batsman AB de Villiers is likely to return to the playing XI after missing the first two matches to injury. AB went on one knee and nailed a slower ball over the cover fence and ended the innings with a six that cleared the roof for the 2nd time.

England's Ben Stokes took charge with 50 off 32 balls and gave the innings some respectability by adding 61 runs off 37 deliveries with Manoj Tiwary, who remained unbeaten on 40 off 23 balls. Nearly every one of the nine sixes he hit were brutal hits and sailed comfortably over the ropes, if not over the roof of the stadium.

De Villiers upped the scoring rate appreciably, smashing seven of his nine sixes in the last four overs that included two out of the stadium over mid-wicket.

The bowlers of Punjab like Sandeep, Mohit, Swapnil, and Axar didn't allow the opposition to go past the 165 runs. Billy Stanlake - 4-0-29-2, Pawan Negi - 1-0-3-2.

The closers: The numbers reveal just how well RCB's bowlers did to pull off the victory.

For the home side, Aaron returned with figures of 2/21 while Axar Patel and Sandeep Sharma took one wicket apiece. Mandeep joined AB in RCB's resurrection act and took on KXIP rookie Natarajan in the 9th over.

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