Mohammed Siraj made history with an astonishing display of bowling to set up a crushing eight-wicket win for Royal Challengers Bangalore over the sorry Kolkata Knight Riders.

Seamer Siraj claiming incredible figures of 3-8 off four overs as KKR could only post a pitiful 84-8 from their 20 overs in a one-sided Indian Premier League match at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Kolkata's total was the lowest from the full complement of overs in an IPL game without a team getting bowled out and Siraj's figures were the most economical in the tournament this year.

Siraj was the first to bowl two maidens in an IPL innings, while Yuzvendra Chahal claimed 2-15 and captain Eoin Morgan (30) was one of only four KKR batsmen to make double figures.

RCB needed just 13.3 overs to reach their target in Abu Dhabi and go second in the table, level on points with leaders Delhi Capitals. 

Lockie Ferguson was the Knight Riders' only wicket-taker, getting Aaron Finch caught behind after Devdutt Padikkal (25) was run out.

KKR never recovered from the magnificent Siraj taking two wickets in as many balls in the second over and remain in fourth spot.

 

SIRAJ STUNS KKR, TON UP FOR AB

Siraj had three wickets without conceding a run from two overs and was on a hat-trick after seeing the back of Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana.

Morgan's men were deep in the mire on 14-4 when Tom Banton was taken by AB de Villiers, who reached the 100 IPL catches landmark.

KKR never got going, Morgan scoring half of their six fours as the RCB bowlers gave little away, bowling 72 dot balls in a strange innings.

 

KOHLI ON A ROLL

RCB unsurprisingly made easy work of putting KKR out of their misery, getting home at a canter.

An unbroken stand of 39 between Gurkeerat Singh (21) and Virat Kohli (18) sealed it, the skipper maintaining his excellent form after a slow start to the competition.

The India captain has scored 329 runs since the beginning of this month, averaging a mammoth 109.7. He has also racked up 285 in his last four knocks versus KKR at an average of 142.5.

AB de Villiers smashed a match-winning fifty as Royal Challengers Bangalore claimed a brilliant seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.

South African great De Villiers made it three unbeaten half centuries for the tournament, lofting Jofra Archer over deep midwicket for his sixth maximum to make it 55 off 22 deliveries and seal the points with two balls to spare.

Rajasthan set Bangalore 177-6, as Steve Smith returned to form with an excellent 57 from 36 deliveries, but they have now lost four of their past five matches.

The Royal Challengers are third with six wins from nine outings and their other standout performer was Chris Morris, whose 4-24 include the scalps of Smith, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.

Bangalore lost Aaron Finch for 14 after a couple of sixes early in the run chase as the Australia opener sliced a slog sweep off Shreyas Gopal high into the air.

Skipper Virat Kohli (43) and Devdutt Padikkal combined in an assured stand of 79 for the second wicket but departed in consecutive balls when trying to force the pace, leaving their side 102-3 in the 14th over.

Enter De Villiers, who took the attack back to Rajasthan with able support from Gurkeerat Singh (19 not out). He made his move decisively at the start of the penultimate over, when he bludgeoned Jaydev Unadkat for three consecutive sixes.

Earlier, a reshuffled Rajasthan order paid dividends for their captain Smith, who dropped down to four after a succession of single-figure scores.

Robin Uthappa's breezy 41 accounted for the bulk of a half-century opening stand with Stokes (15) but they were 69-3 when Sanju Samson fell to Yuzvendra Chahal.

Smith rebuilt alongside Buttler (25) and remained until the final over, when Morris added the Australia star and Archer to his haul. It might have been enough, but for the inimitable De Villiers.

De Villiers turns in another masterclass

"I'm very, very nervous and erratic [in a run chase] and I get very stressed like any player," De Villiers said when being presented with the man-of-the-match award. Spare a thought for Unadkat, in that case. The left-armer might feel he was hung out to dry by Smith handing him the 19th over. His first delivery was crashed over midwicket, with a slower ball dispatched beyond wide long-on next ball.

A dismissive swipe over square leg followed before a single from an attempted yorker ended the assault. De Villiers and Gurkeerat still needed 11 from Archer's final over, but the momentum had unquestionably shifted.

Buttler loses out in Rajasthan reshuffle

While a move down the order worked for Smith, the same could not be said for England big-hitter Buttler. Demoted from opening alongside Stokes, he scored an unusually circumspect 24 off 25 deliveries before holing out to Morris.

Chris Gayle made an impact and KL Rahul continued his impressive form as Kings XI Punjab once again come out on top against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Kings XI have found wins hard to come by in 2020 but have now triumphed in both games with Bangalore, albeit only after surviving a late wobble on Thursday. 

Gayle made 53 from 45 balls but was run out from the penultimate delivery with the scores level. That left Nicholas Pooran to come out and face one ball, which he proceeded to launch down the ground for six. 

The eight-wicket victory gives Kings XI renewed hope for the season, though they remain bottom of the table. 

Rahul – who made 132 not out in the previous meeting of the two franchises – finished up unbeaten on 61, in the process extending his lead at the top of the run-scoring table. 

Opening partner Mayank Agarwal weighed in with 45 as Bangalore's total of 171-6 was not quite enough, despite the unexpected final-over drama. 

Virat Kohli had top-scored with 48 but the Royal Challengers struggled to pick up the run-rate, making the decision to leave AB de Villiers down at six in the order even more surprising. 

The South African made just two but compatriot Chris Morris was far more successful in the closing stages, an eight-ball cameo seeing him make 25 not out. 

DE VILLIERS MADE TO WAIT 

De Villiers was at his explosive best against Kolkata Knight Riders last time out, smashing an unbeaten 73 from 33 balls. 

Despite that explosive display of hitting, Bangalore sent both Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube in ahead of him, before he eventually came out with four overs to go.

THE UNIVERSE BOSS IS BACK!

Gayle's involvement in the tournament was delayed by food poisoning, leading to a spell in hospital. He batted in the unfamiliar position of three for Kings XI, coming in after the opening duo had put on 78. 

After a cautious start, the left-hander cut loose with a solitary four and five sixes. Even his demise added a little drama, but Pooran finished the job in style with a maximum off Yuzvendra Chahal. 

AB de Villiers bludgeoned a swashbuckling half-century to set up a crushing 82-run Indian Premier League win for Royal Challengers Bangalore over Kolkata Knight Riders.

The Knight Riders had won three consecutive matches, but they were brought back down to earth at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.

It was an astonishing knock from De Villiers that made it very much advantage RCB, the maverick South African smashing 73 not out off just 33 balls to get his side up to an imposing 194-2.

De Villiers blasted six sixes and five fours, reaching his half-century in 23 deliveries as the likes of Andre Russell and Pat Cummins were taken to all parts.

Aaron Finch (47), Virat Kohli (33no) and Devdutt Padikkal (32) also contributed, but it was De Villiers who very much took centre stage with his highest score against KKR.

The Knight Riders could only make 112-9 in reply on a slow track, with the impressive Washington Sundar taking 2-20 from his four overs and Chris Morris 2-17.

All six RCB bowlers took at least one wicket and Yuzvendra Chahal finished with outstanding figures of 1-12 from the 24 deliveries he sent down.

Shubman Gill top-scored with 34 as only three Knight Riders batsman made double figures in an emphatic win that moved Kohli's side above their opponents into third.

 

DE VILLIERS GOES BESERK

RCB were 94-2 when De Villiers joined Kohli at the crease in the 13th over after Finch was cleaned up by a Prasidh Krishna yorker.

The mercurial South African upstaged captain Kohli with a breathtaking knock, twice launching Kamlesh Nagarkoti for six – one disappearing out of the ground – and taking 19 off the 17th over from Cummins.

De Villiers continued to dish out some brutal treatment, Russell going for 34 off his final two overs in a stunning blitz to concede a half-century of runs.

Kohli was content to give De Villiers the strike and the wicketkeeper-batsman finished with a staggering strike rate of 221.21 to leave KKR facing a huge run chase.

 

MISERLY SUNDAR PUTS KKR IN A SPIN

Sundar has not taken as many wickets as he deserves in the tournament so far, but the spinner has certainly made a significant impact.

He has an economy rate of 4.90 from seven matches, only bettered by team-mate Morris (4.50) – who has played just the two games.

Sundar bowled Nitish Rana and also saw the back of Eoin Morgan in a run chase that never really got going, Tom Banton out for eight on his IPL debut.

The wily Morris also had another good day out, picking up a couple of wickets when the writing was already on the wall for KKR.

Virat Kohli struck the last ball of a Super Over for four to seal a thrilling Indian Premier League win for Royal Challengers Bangalore after Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard gave Mumbai Indians hope.

Royal Challengers posted an imposing 201-3 after being put in at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday courtesy of half-centuries from Devdutt Padikkal (54), Aaron Finch (52) and AB de Villiers (55).

The brilliant Washington Sundar (1-12) struck a huge blow by dismissing Rohit Sharma in the second over of the run chase and Mumbai looked beaten at 78-4 in the 12th over.

However, Kishan and Pollard astonishing forcedly a tie after putting on 119 for the fifth wicket off just 8.3 overs, the former making 99 off 58 balls – including nine sixes – before he was out off the penultimate delivery.

Pollard (60 not out from 23) brought the scores level with a four off the last ball – making it the highest tied score in an IPL contest – when the Indians were five down, but RCB were not to be denied victory.

Indians duo Pollard and Hardik Pandya could only take seven from Navdeep Saini's Super Over and Jasprit Bumrah was unable to keep it so tight, boundaries from the in-form De Villiers and Kohli giving RCB a second win out of three.

 

KOHLI FAILS AGAIN AS REST OF RCB TOP ORDER CASH IN

Despite hitting the winning runs, Kohli looked out of sorts again as he made just three from 11 balls before the tie-breaker, Rahul Chahar getting the India captain caught at short cover.

Padikkal and Finch had put on 81 for the first wicket in nine overs and De Villiers cashed in on a great track with some magnificent clean striking, hitting four sixes and as many fours.

Shivam Dube got in on the act with an unbeaten 27 off just 10 balls, clearing the ropes three times, as RCB reached 200 for the 17th time when batting first – six more times than any other team.

 

KISHAN AND POLLARD PRODUCE STUNNING BLITZ

It looked to be game over when Pandya fell to Adam Zampa in the 12th over of the run chase, leaving Mumbai four down and with a mountain to climb.

Sundar – who did not concede a boundary from his four overs – saw the back of Rohit before debutant Isuru Udana struck twice, with substitute fielder Pawan Negi taking three catches.

Kishan and Pollard had other ideas, with the West Indies all-rounder hitting the last ball of the 20th over for four after Kishan had struck Udana for back-to-back sixes before being caught in the deep on 99.

 

KOHLI HAS THE LAST LAUGH

It has been a poor start for Kohli, but he had the last laugh by whipping his India team-mate Bumrah for four when needing just one to win off the last ball.

De Villiers, on the other hand, is in great nick and also found the rope off the fourth ball from Bumrah after Saini halted Mumbai's momentum.

Quinton de Kock has revealed AB de Villiers was "definitely in line" to play for South Africa in the T20 World Cup this year.

Proteas legend De Villiers retired from international cricket in 2018 but has made no secret of his desire to make a comeback.

The T20 World Cup was due to start in Australia in October but on Monday was officially postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa white-ball skipper De Kock says 36-year-old batsman De Villiers was on course to feature in the tournament if it had gone ahead as scheduled.

The wicketkeeper-batsman told the Cricket Connected show on Star Sports: "He was definitely in line. If fit, I would have loved to have AB de Villiers.

"I think any team would have loved to have AB de Villiers in their team. While we were pushing for him, now we will have to see when the T20 World Cup is going to happen now."

De Villiers last played for his country in the shortest format in October 2017.

Only JP Duminy has scored more T20 runs for the Proteas than De Villiers' tally of 1,672 from 75 innings, including 10 half-centuries.

South Africa assistant coach Enoch Nkwe says the prospect of AB de Villiers regaining the Proteas captaincy has never been discussed.

De Villiers has made no secret of his desire to come out of international retirement, but last week emphatically denied reports Cricket South Africa had asked him to take a leadership role.

Quinton de Kock only replaced Faf du Plessis as white-ball captain earlier this year and a decision on the next Test skipper is expected to be announced in the near future.

Nkwe was surprised to read claims that De Villiers had been given the chance to take the captaincy and welcomed his swift denial of such claims.

He told Stats Perform: "I was shocked because from our position, we've never discussed anything like that.

"I was completely surprised because generally if something like that is going to happen myself and Mark [Boucher, head coach] would talk about it, including Graeme Smith [director of cricket], over a call, chat about ideas on who do we think would be captain going forward for however long.

"To see something like that was a complete surprise. I suppose maybe it could be someone out there just trying to make something out of nothing and I'm happy to see AB himself say that's not such.

"There's definitely been communication with regards to him returning because of the [Twenty20] World Cup and I know he would love to make an impact and win a World Cup for our country.

"That's clear, it's out there, he said it himself. But with regards to captaincy, that's pretty new to me and as far as I'm concerned nothing has been discussed behind the scenes."

AB de Villiers has denied reports he has been asked by Cricket South Africa to lead the Proteas, adding: "It's hard to know what to believe these days."

The batsman has not played international cricket since April 2018 but has been linked with a return ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup, which is scheduled to start in October in Australia.

De Villiers was quoted as saying to Star Sports Cricket Connected that he had not only held talks about a comeback but also over taking on a leadership role.

"The desire is there from my side to play for South Africa, and [I] have been asked by Cricket South Africa to lead the Proteas again," he said, before adding a comeback would only happen if he is "still good enough to be there" in the team.

However, the former Proteas skipper reacted to the story via Twitter on Wednesday.

"Reports suggesting Cricket SA have asked me to lead the Proteas are just not true," De Villiers tweeted out to his 6.9million followers. 

"It's hard to know what to believe these days. Crazy times. Stay safe everyone."

De Villiers played in 114 Tests and 228 ODIs, averaging over 50 in both formats, as well as 78 T20 fixtures at international level. He retired in May 2018 having "run out of gas". 

AB de Villiers revealed he has been asked to lead South Africa but says he will only make an international comeback if he merits a place in the side.

The explosive batsman ended his Proteas career in May 2018 as he had "run out of gas".

Mark Boucher said he would try to tempt De Villiers to return to the international stage after he was appointed as head coach and the 36-year-old stated he would "love" to play for his country again, with the T20 World Cup due to be staged later this year.

Former captain De Villiers says that it has been requested that he not only comes out of retirement, but takes on a leadership role once again..

"The desire is there from my side to play for South Africa, and have been asked by Cricket South Africa to lead the Proteas again," he told Star Sports Cricket Connected.

"The most important thing to me is that I have got to be in top form, and I have got to be better than the player next to me. I

"f I feel I deserve my spot in the side, it becomes much easier for me to feel that I should be part of the playing XI.

"I have not been part of the Proteas for a while, and I feel that it’s important for myself and for other people to see that I am still good enough to be there."

Quinton de Kock took over from Faf du Plessis as South Africa's white-ball captain in January.

AB de Villiers says he would "love" to make a South Africa comeback but says talk of him playing in the T20 World Cup is premature.

The maverick batsman announced his retirement from international cricket in May 2018 as he had "run out of gas."

Mark Boucher said it would be remiss of him not to try to tempt De Villiers, who turns 36 next month, to play for his country again after he was appointed as Proteas head coach last month.

Captain Faf du Plessis has also spoken of his hope that one of South Africa's greatest ever players will grace the international stage again and talks had been held over a return.

De Villiers is not getting ahead of himself, but would jump at the chance to feature in the T20 World Cup in Australia this year.

"There's a lot that needs to happen before that becomes reality," he said after scoring a quickfire 40 on his Big Bash League debut for Brisbane Heat in a thrashing of Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday.

"I would love to. I've been talking to Bouch, Graeme Smith [South Africa director of cricket] and Faf back home, we're all keen to make it happen.

"It's a long way away still, and plenty can happen – there's the IPL coming up, I've still got to be in form at that time. 

"So I'm thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping that everything will work out. 

"It's not a guarantee, once again. I don't want to disappoint myself or other people, so for now I'm just going to try and keep a low profile, try and play the best possible cricket that I can and then see what happens towards the end of the year."

De Villiers appeared in 114 Tests for his country, with 228 ODI and 78 T20s under his belt.

Brisbane Heat romped to a seven-wicket win over Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League after skittling their opponents for 110.

The hosts were dominant in Brisbane as James Pattinson starred with the ball, claiming a five-for as Adelaide failed to bat out their 20 overs.

Left with such a meagre total to chase, the Heat initially toiled as they lost two early wickets, but Matt Renshaw and BBL debutant AB de Villiers' 77-run partnership took the game away from the visitors.

The result moves the Heat above the Strikers and into fourth.

 

PATTINSON FIVE-FOR STRANGLES STRIKERS

Each of the top five Strikers batsmen fell to Pattinson, who may not have been the most economic of the bowlers, but he was certainly the most dangerous.

Having posted 0-52 on his BBL return against Perth Scorchers at the weekend, the Australian went for 33 on Tuesday but also tallied up his victims.

Jonathan Wells (14) was the only top-order batsman to make it into double figures as the Strikers fluffed their lines badly in the powerplay. 

Rashid Khan's 28 down the order was the best contribution, but when Liam O'Connor was the last man out without scoring, it was clear Adelaide had come up well short of a competitive total. 

DE VILLIERS AND RENSHAW GET A GRIP

Perhaps there was an element of complacency in the way the Heat set about their very modest chase.

Captain Chris Lynn went for a golden duck and Max Bryant followed him after a brisk 10 from five balls.

It needed Renshaw (52) and De Villiers to get a hold on things, with the latter falling for 40 and leaving Joe Burns (10) to come in and help finish the job with 28 balls to spare.

Faf du Plessis says AB de Villiers has already held discussions over a potential South Africa comeback.

De Villiers retired from international cricket in May 2018, stating he had "run out of gas".

New Proteas head coach Mark Boucher said it would be remiss of him not to try to tempt one of South Africa's greatest batsman to have a change of heart, with the T20 World Cup on the horizon next year.

South Africa captain Du Plessis revealed talks with the 35-year-old started a few months ago.

"People want AB to play and I am no different," said Du Plessis, speaking to reporters after playing for Paarl Rocks against Tshwane Spartans in the Mzansi Super League final.

"Those conversations have been happening for two or three months already: What does it look like? How does it look over the next year? And that's where it starts.

"T20 cricket is a different beast, it's not a lot of time away from home. If you are a full campaigner, you have to really get stuck in and spend a lot of time on the road.

"Test cricket now is the most important thing but also the T20 World Cup is not too far away and there isn't a lot - I reckon 20 T20s over the season - which won't be that hard on one to do that.

"Those conversations have already taken place and will continue to before the next T20 series starts."

De Villiers is set to make his Big Bash League debut for Brisbane Heat next month.

Steve Smith will make a long-awaited Big Bash League return and AB de Villiers should ignite the Brisbane Heat in a shortened tournament with a new finals format.

Smith, the best Test batsman in the world, will feature in the competition for the first time since 2014 after rejoining the Sydney Sixers.

Maverick former South Africa batsman De Villiers will make his BBL debut for a Heat side who have been installed as bookmakers' favourites, with former Australia boss Darren Lehmann returning as head coach.

The Melbourne Renegades are expected to mount a strong challenge to retain a title they won in February with a derby defeat of Melbourne Stars, who have will Dale Steyn in their attack for six matches.

There will also be a welcome return for Glenn Maxwell, back in action for the Stars after taking a break to deal with personal mental health issues.

Here, we examine teams and players to look out for and explain changes to the schedule for the 2019-20 edition, which gets under way when the Heat face the Thunder at The Gabba on Tuesday.

 

FINALS REVAMP PART OF SCHEDULE CHANGE

There were calls for change due to dwindling crowds in an eighth edition of the tournament that dragged on too long.

Cricket Australia has taken note of criticism, reducing the length of the competition from 54 to 42 days and revamping the finals format.

There will be 15 days with two matches played in order to cut the length of the BBL.

Five of the eight teams will reach the finals rather than four, with the sides in first and second place at the end of the regular season having two chances to reach the final.

 

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER FOR SMITH

Sixers fans have had to wait a long time to see Smith in their side and they will have to hope his arrival does not come when their title chances are over.

The former Australia captain, part of the Sixers squad that won the inaugural Big Bash in January 2012, will not be available until the back end of the competition due to Australia commitments.

Josh Hazlewood is also scheduled to join the Sixers after featuring for Australia following the Test series against New Zealand and ODIs in India, with the hope he will be fully fit after suffering a hamstring injury in the first Test against the Black Caps.

 

MARSH AND NEW COACH CAN HELP RENEGADES KLING ON TO TITLE

Michael Klinger took over as Renegades coach after Andrew McDonald was appointed Australia assistant coach in October.

McDonald will be a hard act to follow, but the addition of batsman Shaun Marsh is a big coup for the defending champions.

Disciplined bowling was key to their maiden BBL triumph and they have managed to retain left-arm seamer Harry Gurney, while big things will be expected of Kane Richardson once again.

 

HEAT SHOULD WARM TO THE TASK UNDER LEHMANN

Brisbane handed Lehmann his first role coaching role since he quit as Australia boss following the Newlands ball-tampering scandal in March 2018. Lehmann was cleared of involvement in that ploy.

Lehmann, who replaces Daniel Vettori, oversaw the Heat's 2012-13 Big Bash title success and it would be no surprise if he celebrates a repeat.

De Villiers will make his debut for Brisbane, while explosive England batsman Tom Banton, Ben Laughlin, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Zahir Khan are also exciting additions.

New South Africa head coach Mark Boucher may try to convince AB de Villiers he should come out of international retirement.

Interim director of cricket Graeme Smith on Saturday revealed he appointed former wicketkeeper-batsman Boucher to "bring the toughness to turn a young and inexperienced Proteas squad into a battle-ready outfit".

Boucher has not ruled out turning to some older players with plenty of knowhow ahead of the T20 World Cup next year, including maverick 35-year-old batsman De Villiers.

"When you go to a World Cup, you want your best players playing for you," said Boucher, who will be assisted by Enoch Nkwe.

"If I feel he is one of your best players, why wouldn't I want to have a conversation with him? I've only just got into the job, I might have conversations with quite a few players and see where they are."

Boucher added: "You want your best players playing in the World Cup and if there's a couple of issues you need to iron out, with media, with team-mates, and if it's for the good of South Africa, why not, let's do it."

Boucher has no power over selecting players that moved overseas to take up Kolpak deals but would welcome being able to call upon them.

"If I can answer from a coach's perspective, absolutely. If you look at rugby, the way the Springboks won the World Cup, the experience they got from players playing overseas was invaluable." said the 43-year-old, who retired from playing in 2012 due to a serious eye injury.

"From a coach's perspective, I'd love to have the opportunity to deepen and strengthen the squad. It will keep everyone on their toes and will bring more excellence into the game in this country."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.