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"Have always loved batting with this guy", he wrote beneath a picture of him embracing De Villiers. There isn't a corner in the ground that he can't send the ball to. The duo stitched a mammoth 118-run partnership for the third wicket and guided their team to an emphatic win against a listless Delhi side, which is already out of the playoffs' contention.

RCB entered the fixture against DD with 4 wins required off 4 games to still have a chance of making it to the Playoffs. RCB had been expensive with the ball. On the other hand, Delhi's hopes of qualifying were on Thursday dashed by table-toppers SunRisers Hyderabad, who chased down a challenging 188 losing the solitary wicket of opener Alex Hales at the Ferozshah Kotla. Lamichhane pinned de Villiers on the pad with the first ball he bowled to him. It only took a special effort to remove Pant with AB de Villiers holding on to a spectacular sliding catch at long-on. It afforded de Villiers time to get a feel of the conditions.

Experienced leg-spinner Amit Mishra finally got rid of Kohli with a delivery that turned away sharply after spinning. Before long, de Villiers was matching his captain stroke for stroke. When he returned to the field in the 16th over, he was smashed for two fours and two sixes by Karthik. He lost Kohli in the 14th over, with RCB requiring 46.

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He plays such shots nearly every time he bats, and yet they never cease to amaze because of the ease with which he pulls them off. He ended the match with a straight hit over the fence off Trent Boult. Meanwhile, it will be a homecoming for RCB skipper Virat Kohli, who has been in good nick this season and would want to maintain his side's superior record over Delhi in head-to-head encounters.

RCB won the toss and put DD in to bat first. They had five such stands in 2016. Ab de Villiers received the Man of the Match award for his batting brilliance. The two combined for 11 boundaries and nine sixes but even more remarkably, Virat Kohli was left speechless after an audacious whip from his Protea partner went for six, proving despite all the time spent together in the middle, they could still surprise one another.

"I wasn't happy with the way we finished with the ball, but AB told me in the innings break that we can do this and that is what helped me get into the zone and then I let my instincts take over". I don't need to say much. "To be honest with you, it felt a bit weird tonight", he said. I started off slowly, luckily Virat was going well at the other end.


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