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Bangalore hold up Hetmyer, Pant to climb back to top

Royal Challengers Bangalore hold up Shimron Hetmyer and Rishabh Pant to pip Delhi Capitals by just one run and climb back to the top of Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

Bangalore scored a challenging 171-5 on the back of AB de Villiers’ electrifying unbeaten 75 off 42 balls and had the game under control until the 17th over before Hetmyer brought Delhi back with some powerful hitting.

Needing 46 off the last three overs, the West Indian left-hander blazed three sixes off Kyle Jamieson to bring down the target to 25 runs from two overs. Although Harshal Patel conceded just one boundary, his penultimate over went for 11 which left Mohammed Siraj with 14 runs to defend in the last over.

Siraj made the task difficult for Delhi by conceding four off his first four balls before Delhi captain Pant’s back-to-back boundaries could only take his team to 170-4. That left Hetmyer on his knees in disappointment as the left-hander smashed an unbeaten 53 off just 25 balls, but could face only a ball in Siraj’s last over.

Pant consumed 48 balls for his unbeaten 58 which featured six boundaries. “The way Siraj started the last over, it gave us confidence,” Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli said. “For the most part, I think we were on top in this game with our bowlers.”

Earlier, Delhi had the strong Bangalore batting lineup in check 139-5 until the 18th over. Fast bowlers Avesh Khan (1-24) and Ishant Sharma (1-26) bowled well early to dispatch opening pair of Kohli (12) and Devdutt Padikkal (17).

But Pant’s decision to give Marcus Stoinis the 20th over cost Delhi 23 crucial runs. De Villiers turned the tide in Bangalore’s favour as the experienced South African Twenty20 batsman smacked three sixes and in the process also completed 5000 runs in the IPL.

De Villiers, who came in during the ninth over with the score at 60-3, scored the bulk of the runs and hit three fours and five sixes in his second unbeaten half century this season.

Bangalore’s fifth win in six games took them to 10 points, leaving Delhi and Chennai Super Kings both at eight points.


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