A remarkable century from Quinton de Kock, the first of this IPL season, propelled Delhi Daredevils to a rousing seven-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore here on Sunday.
A target of 192 may have seemed demanding, but RCB’s bowlers — of whom only Shane Watson emerges from this game with any credit — had no answers to the young South African’s brilliance.
de Kock’s 51-ball-108, and his alliance of 134 runs for the third wicket with Karun Nair, helped Delhi win with five balls to spare and silence a raucous home crowd at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. A pair of fine half-centuries from Virat Kohli and A.B. de Villiers went in vain.
de Kock swung into action, lashing the first ball from S. Arvind through the covers. It was but a sample of things to come. For the rest of the evening, de Kock found the off-side boundary repeatedly, frustrating RCB with his ability to find the gap either side of point.
He raised his fifty off 22 balls, Delhi moving along lickety-split. Shane Watson finished the Powerplay with a one-run over, and the wicket of Sanju Samson, but that proved a mere blip. In came Karun Nair, who slowly found his feet. de Kock and he would not be parted, as they put RCB’s hapless bowlers to the sword.
Bit by bit, Delhi knocked the runs off, the balance firmly tilting in the visitor’s favour when David Wiese was taken for 20 runs in the 14th over. de Kock raised his hundred off 48 balls, by which stage the game was all but over. Karun remained unbeaten on 54, his role in the victory not to be forgotten.
Earlier, after RCB lost Chris Gayle cheaply yet again, Kohli and de Villiers, picked up from where they had left off on Tuesday, scoring with the same relentless ease.
de Villiers raced to his half-century from 25 balls, the best of his nine fours a majestic straight drive off Chris Morris. He was caught at long-on trying to hit Carlos Brathwaite over the ropes, the end of a stand of 107 (65b) for the second wicket.
Kohli was slower by comparison but no slouch. He gave Delhi’s bowlers a hammering and in the company of Shane Watson, added 63 runs (30b) for the third wicket. Zaheer suffered at their hands, finishing with figures of one for 50 from his four overs.
But when Shami removed Watson in the 17th over, it triggered a slump, RCB losing three for seven in the space of 12 balls. Only 21 runs came off the last 3.5 overs, a relief for Delhi after the onslaught.
RCB 191/5 (20.0 Ovs)
DD 192/3 (19.1 Ovs)
Delhi Daredevils won by 7 wkts
PLAYER OF THE MATCH:- Quinton de Kock