Dubai (UAE) | Jagran Sports Desk: A fiery 55 off just 22 balls from AB de Villiers on Saturday helped Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Rajasthan Royals by seven-wicket in a thrilling encounter at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in game 33rd of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. With this win, the RCB have now 12 points at a net run rate of -0.096.

Chasing 178, Royal Challengers Bangalore didn't get a good start after Aaron Finch got dismissed (14 off 11 balls) in the second over of the game. Devdutt Padikkal (35 off 37 balls) and skipper Virat Kohli (43 off 32 balls) tried to steady the innings for RCB but they too struggled on the slow pitch in Dubai.

At one point, it seemed that RR will easily win the match and secure 2 points. However, de Villiers had other ideas as he slammed the RR bowlers and ensured that RCB win the match easily. He, along with Gurkeerat Singh Mann (19 off 17 balls) remained not out. de Villiers also got the man of the match award for his match-winning innings.

Earlier in the day, Rajasthan Royals' skipper Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat first. Smith's decision to bat first seemed perfect as RR's openers -- Robin Uthappa (41 off 22 balls) and Ben Stokes (15 off 19 balls) -- smashed the RCB bowlers to give their side a brilliant start.

However, RCB were back in the game after Yuzvendra Chahal and Chris Morris dismissed both the openers and Sanju Samson (9 off 6 balls). Later, Smith took upon himself to help his side reach a respectable total. He, along with Jos Buttler (24 off 25 balls) and Rahul Tewatia (19 off 11 balls), helped RR reach 177 in their 20 overs.

The pick of the bowlers for Royal Challengers Bangalore was Chris Morris who took 4 wickets and gave just 26 runs in his four overs. He was well supported by Yuzvendra Chahal who got 2 wickets for 34 runs in his four overs.

Following the match, RCB skipper Virat Kohli said that it was a very important game for their side. Kohli also praised de Villiers and called him the "most important match-winner in the IPL".

"Purely because of the presence of that man in the middle the oppostion feels we're not out of the game. Young Dev has come in and has batted beautifully. Finch has made an impact at the top. We understand the dynamics. The bowling has stepped up this season," Kohli said at the post-match conference.

Brief Score:

Rajasthan Royals: 177 for six in 20 overs (Steve Smith 57; Chris Morris 4/26, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/34)

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 179 for three in 19.4 overs (AB de Villiers 55 not out, Virat Kohli 43; Karthik Tyagi 1/32)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma