Dubai: AB De Villiers steered Royal Challengers Bangalore to an exciting 17 runs win over Kings XI Punjab at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. De Villiers not only cracked a breezy 82 off 44 balls but also took three brilliant well-judged catches to stop Punjab.

It was De Villiers’ knock with Marcus Stoinis (46) that gave Bangalore an impressive total of 202 for 4 in 20 overs. The pair put on 64 runs in the last three overs.

Punjab won the toss and elected to bowl. Bangalore opener Parthiv Patel began aggressively by hitting Rajput for two consecutive boundaries in the first over from Ankit Rajpoot. In the next over, Virat Kohli, on 3, had a lucky escape when Hardus Viljeon dropped an easy catch off the bowling of Mohammad Shami at midwicket. He celebrated his luck, hitting two consecutive boundaries in the same over. However, the drop did not prove too costly as Mandeep Singh took the easy catch offered by Kohli at extra cover off Shami for 13.

Parthiv continued to stroke freely and even hit Rajpoot for a straight six. He also hit Shami for three boundaries and a six in the sixth over. Murugan Ashwin ened Patel’s fine know by having him caught by his skipper Ravichandran Ashwin for 43 off 24 balls. Moeen Ali lasted only five balls to score four runs before Ashwin clean bowled him with his slider. When Viljoen removed Akshdeep Nath for just 3, Bangalore slipped to 81 for 4 in nine overs.

From this stage, De Villiers began to open out along with Stoinis. Ashwin completed his four overs giving away just 15 runs but De Villiers raced to his half century in 35 balls. In the 19th over, Villiers hit three consecutive sixes off Shami to take 21 runs off the over. In the end, Bangalore took 64 runs off the last three overs.

Punjab began the chase with Gayle hitting three boundaries off Tim Southee. Opener Lokesh Rahul too hit two consecutive boundaries In the fourth over, Gayle, on 23, hit Yadav straight to De Villiers for his first catch. Mayan Agarwal and Rahul put on a 59 runs before Stoinis had Agarwal caught by Chahal at midwicket for 35. Soon Rahul too departed when Moeen Ali had him caught at long on by Southee for 42.

Nicholas Pooran and David Miller lit up hope of a victory through a quick 68 runs partnership for the fourth wicket. Pooran hit Washington Sundar for three sixes in the 14th over. He also hit Navdeep Saini for two sixes and a boundary in the 15th over but Saini had Miller caught by De Villiers at long on for 24. Pooran too fell caught by De Villier off Saini for 46. Punjab’s hopes, too, vanished with it.

Brief scores

Royal Challengers Bangalore bt Kings XI Punjab by 17 runs. Bangalore 202 for 4 in 20 overs (Parthiv Patel 43, AB De Villiers 82n.o, Marcus Stoinis 46n.o) Punjab 185 for 7 in 20 overs (Lokesh Rahul 42, Chris Gayle 23, Mayank Agarwal 35, David Miller 24, Nicholas Pooran 46, Umesh Yadav 3 for 36, Navdeep Saini 2 for 33) Man of the match: AB De Viliers