On an unusual Sharjah pitch, unusual from what has been witnessed so far in IPL 2020, the ball was gripping well on the surface. And Kolkata Knight Riders had put a real squeeze up until the 15th over after the opening pair of Aaron Finch and Devdutt Paddikal took off in their 67-run stand. Yet RCB managed to put up 194 on the board for the loss of just two wickets with the team adding a breathtaking 83 runs in the last five overs, courtesy AB de Villiers. Blazing away with his 23-ball half-century en route to his unbeaten 73, De Villiers, also managed to achieve a huge partnership record alongside captain Virat Kohli.
After that opening stand, KKR added brakes to RCB run flow, conceding just 42 runs between overs nine and 15. RCB managed to amass just 111 for two wickets with two of their best batters at the crease. Kamlesh Nagarkoti was their best bowlers, leaking only 18 runs in his first three overs but lost grip in his final over conceding as many runs as De Villiers whacked two sixes and a boundary. And from there on, there was no looking back. He fired three boundaries and five sixes in the final two overs to end with 73 off 33 balls and en route completed a 100-run stand alongside Kohli, who finished with 33 off 28.
With the triple-digit stand, the two became the first pair to share 100 century stands in the history of the tournament, surpassing RCB’s previous lethal combination of Kohli and Chris Gayle, who managed nine such partnerships.
“Perhaps, I should have got out earlier (grins). At one stage, we thought 180 was a good score on this ground, we have 194 which is a competitive total. The boys executed really beautifully last game around (with the ball), it’s comes down to bowling the right balls to the right batsmen,” said Finch who scored 42 in the game.