Royal Challengers Bangalore 204 for 4 (Maxwell 78, de Villiers 76*, Chakravarthy 2-39) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 166 for 8 (Russell 31, Jamieson 3-41, Harshal 2-17, Chahal 2-34) by 38 runs
Maxwell made a 49-ball 78, his second fifty of the season, while de Villiers clubbed an unbeaten 34-ball 76. Between them, they hit 18 fours and six sixes to take the Royal Challengers to 204 for 4 after Virat Kohli chose to bat in the afternoon game, and that total proved 38 runs too much for the Knight Riders.
The Knight Riders were aggressive through their chase but lost wickets regularly. Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi and Eoin Morgan got starts, and Andre Russell muscled 31 off 20 balls at the back end, but the West Indian's expensive bowling spell at the death - he conceded 38 runs in two overs - ended up as his more decisive contribution. The win for Kohli's men kept them at the top of the points table while the Knight Riders ended their Chepauk run with two defeats in three games.
A topsy-turvy day for Chakravarthy
The Knight Riders began with Harbhajan Singh for a third straight game after the Royal Challengers chose to bat, and Virat Kohli under-edged a free-hit in the first over, which nutmegged the wicketkeeper and went for four. However, he was out in the next over to Varun Chakravarthy, mistiming an attempted drive to be caught by Rahul Tripathi running back from cover. Four balls later, a slider from Chakravarthy bowled Rajat Patidar, who had replaced Daniel Christian in the Royal Challengers' XI.
Eoin Morgan did not continue with Chakravarthy after that two-wicket over, even though Devdutt Padikkal and Maxwell were new at the crease. When he returned for his second over after the powerplay, the duo hit him for 14. And in his last spell, he conceded a further 22 off 12 balls, raising more question marks over Morgan's use of his mystery spinner's overs.
Maxwellball once again
Coming in when the ball was still new, Maxwell settled in with seven runs in his first seven balls, and rode a bit of luck when he inside-edged a Pat Cummins delivery for four past his leg stump. But that opened the gates for Maxwell, and the Royal Challengers, who had made a slow start until then, having been 19 for 2 after four overs. Maxwell capitalised on Shakib Al Hasan's wayward lengths, shanking a six over midwicket and switch-hitting a four over point in the sixth over.
That 17-run over from Shakib helped the Royal Challengers reach 45 for 2 after the powerplay, and Maxwell clobbered five more fours and another six off the next five overs. Cummins was scythed over point and flat-batted through mid-off, Chakravarthy dispatched over long-on and through square leg, Prasidh Krishna rifled through point, and Singh crunched over extra cover. By the time Padikkal was out for a 28-ball 25 in the 12th over, Maxwell had raced to 60 in 34 balls.
With a grandstand finish expected in de Villiers' company, Maxwell continued with his sweet timing. He carved Cummins through third man and hammered Chakravarthy for a six over cover. However, Cummins got the better of him off the last ball of his spell when the batter top-edged a pull to fine leg to depart with 78 off 49 balls. By then, the Royal Challengers were already on 148 with three overs left and de Villiers already looking imperious.
de Villiers blasts off
When de Villiers walked in after Padikkal's dismissal, the Royal Challengers were 95 for 3 with 8.5 overs remaining. Quick singles and doubles helped him get his eye in, and he began his onslaught with consecutive fours off Chakravarthy in the 15th over. He followed up with back-to-back boundaries off Krishna to reach 31 in 18 balls without breaking a sweat.
But he saved his best for last, after Maxwell's dismissal. With 18 balls to go, and the Royal Challengers at 148, de Villiers tore into Andre Russell, clobbering him for a six and two fours - one over deep midwicket and two behind point - as the bowler tried to go full and wide. He then launched Singh - entrusted with bowling the 19th - with a six over extra-cover to reach his half-century in 27 balls.
In the last over, de Villiers muscled another 21 runs, hitting Russell over his head, over midwicket, past short third man and over Russell's head once more. With Kyle Jamieson chipping in with 11 off 4, the Royal Challengers hit 56 in their last three overs, finishing on 204 for 4 with de Villiers unbeaten on 76 off 34 balls.
Knight Riders' top order falters
Gill got the chase underway by crashing Mohammed Siraj to the cover boundary in the first over. He then smacked Jamieson for a four and two sixes in the space of four deliveries to race to 21 off just eight balls. But he paid the price of going full throttle next ball, when his uppish drive found the flying Christian at mid-on.
No. 3 Tripathi then struck five fours in 19 balls to race away to 25, but was deceived by a slower Washington Sundar delivery, which he top-edged to midwicket. Nitish Rana, who started the day wearing the Orange Cap, began slowly but seemed to be changing gears when he hit Yuzvendra Chahal for two fours in three balls in the seventh over . But the next ball was hit too well, and he found deep midwicket for 18. Dinesh Karthik's stay was short-lived as he was trapped lbw by Chahal with a wrong'un that reduced the Knight Riders to 74 for 4 after 8.3 overs. These were the first wickets for Chahal in the competition so far.
Too much for Russell to do
Morgan and Shakib tried to keep the momentum going, but only one of them was succeeding. Morgan hit two sixes and a four in his 23-ball 29, but Shakib struggled with his timing, and was eventually bowled by Jamieson for26 off 25.
After Morgan's dismissal to Harshal Patel, the Knight Riders needed 91 off 38 balls. Shakib couldn't find the boundaries, but Russell gave the Royal Challengers a brief scare. He swatted Yuzvendra Chahal for 6, 4, 4, 4 in the 17th over, but even after that over the asking rate was nearly 20 an over. Jamieson's 18th didn't go for enough, and Mohammed Siraj kept hitting the blockhole in a 19th over peppered with refused singles from Russell. With six balls to go, Knight Riders needed 43, and Russell soon dragged Patel onto the stumps. Patel finished with 2 for 17 in his four, and Jamieson with 3 for 41.