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De Villiers, McCullum, Mandeep take RCB to 176/7

Kolkata, April 8: A.B. De Villiers and Brendon McCullum scored 43 and 44 respectively while Mandeep Singh smashed a 18-ball 37 to help Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) post 176/7 in 20 overs against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash here on Sunday.
KKR took wickets at regular intervals but in the last over, Mandeep’s pyrotechnics guided RCB to a fighting total at the packed Eden Gardens. As many as 16 runs were leaked in the fil over by Kartaka pacer R. Viy Kumar who had a forgettable comeback for KKR. Two wickets also fell in that over.
De Villiers was at his imperious best, his 23-ball 44 laced with five sixes and one four. McCullum too looked good for his 27-ball 43 at the start.
De Villiers and Virat Kohli (31) stitched together a third wicket stand of 64 runs off just 36 balls.
KKR maged to get some relief with part-time off-spinner Nitish Ra removing De Villiers and Kohli (31) looking set at the other end.
KKR’s newly-appointed captain Dinesh Karthik elected to field and his side got off to a bad start as Viy Kumar (2/30) leaked 14 runs in the first over, McCullum flicking him down the leg side for a four in the very first ball.
The visitors lost Quinton De Kock (4) early, the South African wicketkeeper-batsman trying to reverse sweep Piyush Chawla (1/31) and picking out Viy Kumar at short third man.
McCullum and Kohli then joined hands for a 45-run stand for the second wicket. But just when the visitors were looking steady with McCullum looking in fine touch and Kohli at ease playing second fiddle, Sunil rine (1/30) got rid of the dangerous Kiwi with a shortish offbreak that dislodged the stumps.
In came De Villiers and took the bowlers to the cleaners in his trademark fashion. The 34-year-old smashed Kuldeep Yadav for two consecutive sixes in the 10th over and then hit Mitchell Johnson for a four and a six two overs later.
De Villiers survived a Decision Review System in the 12th over when the umpire gave him caught behind but reviews showed the ball missing the bat. He was then on 23. In just 27 balls, the pair brought up the 50-run partnership before Ra got the back of the duo in successive balls. De Villiers mistimed Ra and Mitchell Johnson took the catch between long on and deep mid wicket. Kohli was yorked.
Sarfraz Khan, who was retained by the franchise, maged just six runs with Johnson (1/30) taking his wicket while Mandeep and Chris Woakes (5) fell to Viy in the last over. IANS