After stumbling to an eight-wicket loss against Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli explained the reason behind sending star batsman AB de Villiers lower down the order. KXIP secured an eight-wicket win over RCB here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Batting first, RCB had set a competitive target of 172 runs on the back of Chris Morris’ impressive performance with the bat.

De Villiers, who was the hero for the RCB against KKR on Monday, came into bat at number six. The former South African batsman failed to leave a mark as he scored just two runs off five balls. Skipper Kohli said that they wanted to go with a lefty-righty combination as KXIP had two leg spinners.

“Good performance by KXIP, we were not in the game tonight. [About AB batting at 6] We had a chat, a message from outside about left-right combination and we wanted to go with it because they had two leggies,” said Kohli during the post-match presentation via host broadcaster Star Sports.

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“Sometimes things don’t come off. We’re pretty happy with the decisions we took, but it didn’t come off. Having 170 was a decent score. The idea was to let them [Dube and Sundar] to get their eye in. They bowled well,” he added.

With the duo (KL Rahul and Chris Gayle) scoring 20 runs in the 16th over, RCB had lost all hopes of winning the game. However, in the end, RCB made an uncanny comeback but failed to get over the line. KXIP needed two from the last over but Yuzvendra Chahal made an uphill task for the KXIP batsmen as the match came down to 1 run from one ball. Nicholas Pooran whacked a six on the last ball as KXIP took a sigh of relief.

“It was quite surprising, we thought the game might finish in the 18th. A bit of pressure at the back end can confuse you, anything can happen in this game,” said Kohli. “There’s always something to learn to go back and understand. There was no conversation with Chahal to be honest. The only conversation was with the last ball, we wanted him to push it away. Credit to Nicholas,” the Indian skipper added.

KXIP both wins have come against RCB in the 13th edition of IPL. RCB will next lock horns with Rajasthan Royals on Saturday.

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