Royal Challengers Bangalore registered a 17-run win over Pune Warriors India, their first away victory, at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune on Thursday. Winning the toss and batting first, RCB put up a total of 187 on board riding on Saurabh Tiwary's gritty 52 and AB de Villiers's blitzkrieg towards the end. Pune Warriors India ended up 17 short after Robin Uthappa made a crafty 75 at the top of the order.
The margin of win depicts the importance of the last over of the first innings, bowled by PWI's Ashok Dinda, which went for a whopping 26 runs, all scored off the bat of Abraham Benjamin de Villiers. At 161/3 after 19 overs, PWI would have been looking for a 170-odd target, but AB had other plans on the night.
The first ball from Dinda was full and wide outside off-stump. AB started moving down the leg side but quickly readjusted and before one could blink, got on his knees and absolutely thwacked the ball over the boundary rope on the leg side. There was pace in AB's movements and the carnage had only started. The next ball, an encore of the first delivery, was smacked again, with de Villiers again on his knees, the ball sailing over the bowler's head for a four this time.
Dinda brought in his variations now, but there was no change in routine for the umpire as he signalled yet another six on the third ball. Bowled short outside the off-stump, the ball was murdered by AB de Villiers over the long-off boundary as he stood tall this time and cross batted the ball out of the field, even a stupendous jump at the boundary not getting the fielder's hand to the ball. But this was not enough. More outrageous cricket was witness on the next delivery when Dinda resorted to bowling wide outside off-stump. Picking up the length early, de Villiers got into position early and reverse swept, yes, after sweeping and slogging, reverse swept the ball towards the third-man boundary.
Even if the audience thought that they had seen enough, AB pulled out one more rabbit out his seemingly endless hat of tricks to execute a scoop shot off the penultimate delivery for another boundary to the fine-leg. As if on cue, the case of 'fortune favours the brave' came to the fore as de Villiers top edge off the last ball landed safely in no-man's land and he picked up a couple to register the 2nd fastest fifty of Pepsi IPL 6.
In a duel which could have been much closer than it ended up being, AB de Villiers's rampant attack in the last over or RCB's innings was the game changing moment of the match.