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Virat Kohli reveals why AB de Villiers was pushed down at No. 6 against KXIP

  • AB de Villiers scored just 2 runs off 5 balls after being sent down the order.

  • Chris Gayle, KL Rahul half-centuries helped KXIP beat RCB by eight wickets.

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) survived a late choke to end their run of defeats with an eight-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Sharjah on Thursday.

Batting first, Virat Kohli-led RCB managed to put just 171 on the board at the small Sharjah Cricket Stadium and the one big question around their innings was about star batsman AB de Villiers being pushed down to number 6.

At one point, Kohli was even seen looking straight into the dressing room and indicating with his arms that ABD comes out to bat next. But, the South African only came in the 17th over and got out for 2 after facing 5 deliveries. Only three days before the match against KXIP, De Villiers had smashed an unbeaten 73 off 33 vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the same venue.

When asked about the decision of sending ABD at No. 6, Kohli said it was a wrong call to have made.

“There was a message from outside about playing a left-right batting combination. We had a discussion about it and decided to go ahead with it because they had two leggies and that could have kept them out of the game. Sometimes decisions you take don’t come off and this was one of those nights,” the RCB skipper said while speaking to the official broadcaster.

During the chase, KXIP struggled to get two runs from the last over bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal, taking it all the way down to the last ball. The first two were dot balls after which Chris Gayle (53) managed to get off strike. After another dot ball, KL Rahul (61 not out) hit the ball straight to cover and ran for the single. Gayle didn’t make it to his end and was run out which left new batsman Nicholas Pooran needing to score a run off the final ball for KXIP to avoid a Super Over.

Pooran, however, did the needful, hitting a six over long-on to finish the game.

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