Royal Challengers Bangalore made it three wins in a row and remained alive in IPL 2019 courtesy of their 17-run win over Kings XI Punjab in Bengaluru. AB de Villiers' 44-ball 82 and cameos from Parthiv Patel and Marcus Stoinis helped them post 202/4. In response, KXIP got off to a great start but stumbled towards the end after some brilliant death bowling by RCB.
Here are the three major takeaways from RCB's win over KXIP:
All-round ABD makes the difference
At 138/4 after 17 overs, not even the most ardent RCB supporters would have thought they would end up with what they finished with. It was all possible thanks to one, Mr. AB de Villiers.
The South African smashed KXIP's death bowlers all over the park and went from 46 off 34 balls to finish with 82 off 44 balls. He smashed 36 runs off the final 10 balls he faced as RCB added 64 in the last three overs to finish with 202/4.
Not content with just contributing with the bat, AB was brilliant in the field as well. He showed great composure to get rid of Gayle and then two even better catches to send the dangerous duo of David Miller and Nicholas Pooran back in the pavilion.
That changed the game and gave RCB the upper hand.
RCB do all the little things right
To remain alive in IPL 2019 after winning just one of their first eight games, including starting the season with six successive losses, RCB needed to do the little things right.
To remain in the hunt, they needed to win all of their remaining games and with their win over KXIP, they made it three in a row. And that was all possible to the contribution of the supporting act.
While Virat Kohli didn't fire against KXIP, AB certainly did but he was given plenty of assistance from Parthiv Patel and Marcus Stoinis with the bat.
With the ball, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini executed brilliantly at the death. Saini, in particular, was sensational, conceding just three runs from the penultimate over and picking up the two wickets of Miller and Pooran to all but seal the game.
Where do KXIP go from here?
After six games, KXIP had won four and lost two. They were looking in great form to make the playoffs this time around but just like last time, they have floundered in the second half.
In their last five games, KXIP have won just one and lost four to be on 10 points after 11 games. Their away record has been abysmal and after the loss against RCB, they have now won just one of their six away games.
Fortunately for them, although they are away at SRH on Monday, their final two games are at home, where they have won four out of their five games, with their only loss coming against RCB.
KXIP now need to maintain their strong home form if they are to make the playoffs this time around.