Bengaluru: A half-century by old faithful AB de Villiers, followed by a cameo by 17-year old fresh face from Mumbai Sarfaraz Khan, carried Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to 200 for seven against Rajasthan Royals in an Indian Premier League match here on Wednesday.
The efforts of South African ace de Villiers (57, 45b, 9×4, 1×6) and Khan (45 not out, 21b, 6×4, 1×6) made up for the early exits of in-form openers Chris Gayle (10) and skipper Virat Kohli (1) as Rajasthan Royals bowlers wilted under pressure, leaking 70 runs in the last five overs.
Barring Kiwi paceman Tim Southee (2 for 32), the rest of visiting bowlers appeared quite pedestrian with leg-spinner Pravin Tambe slammed for 39 runs in his three overs and left-arm seamer James Faulkner going for 26 in two.
The RCB innings was off to a sensational start with Southee dismissing openers Chris Gayle (10) and Kohli (1) in the space of eight deliveries to leave the hosts teetering on 19 for two in the third over.
Gayle blasted a four and a six off Southee who, however, sent back the big Jamaican, playing across and holing out to Hooda at mid-wicket, all this action in the first four deliveries of the match.
Southee, in his next over, inducted a nick from Kohli who was caught behind.
The early reverses did not stop de Villiers from blasting away with Mandeep Singh following suit.
So much so, Faulkner went for 14 in his first over and Tambe leaked 15 as RCB batsmen raised a gallop.
Mandeep and de Villiers put on 74 runs for the third wicket in quick time. However, Rajasthan bounced back with Stuart Binny trapping Mandeep plumb in front and then de Villiers run out attempting a sharp single as RCB slid to 124 for four in the 14th over.
Thereafter, Karthik and Khan maintain the momentum before the former was run out following a misunderstanding.
However, Khan continued his merry way, carting Tambe for 18 in the 18th over as the leg-spinner conceded 39 runs in his three overs for a disappointing performance.