Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered a humiliating 30-run defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals on Saturday (May 19). With this loss, the Bangalore-based franchise also let slip the opportunity to seal the playoff spot in IPL 2018.
Chasing the target of 165, RCB were placed at 75/1 after 8 overs. However, Shreyas Gopal’s awe-inspiring spell changed the course of the game as he scalped four wickets in quick succession to reduce RCB to 98/6. AB De Villiers was the lone warrior for RCB with 53 runs off 35 balls.
In his latest column for TOI, De Villiers reflected on RCB’s batting collapse in a must-win game against Rajasthan and the positives they can take into the 2019 edition of the IPL.
"We can have no complaints. It is frustrating to know we would have qualified if we had defeated Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, and at one stage we seemed to be on course for a successful chase, but their spinners halted our march and, in a few hectic overs, our dreams evaporated like the morning mist," AB wrote.
"Too often, in too many matches, we conceded too many runs when it really mattered and we failed to construct partnerships when they were really needed. The margins can be very small in T20 cricket and, too many times, we seemed to fall on the wrong side," he added.
Revealing the mood in the camp after coming so close to qualify for the playoffs, De Villiers wrote: "So it's all doom and gloom in Bengaluru? No, not at all. We are extremely disappointed to have won only six of our 14 matches, but it is often said that sports teams must lose together before they can win together, and I do believe that, amid our underperformance in 2018, we have laid a solid foundation for 2019.”
"I have been fortunate to participate in every IPL since the tournament started in 2008 and, in many respects, for me, the 2018 event has been the most enjoyable. The spirit within the RCB squad has been outstanding. In the good moments, and also the difficult moments, players, coaches and staff have stuck together and backed each other, and we have developed a collective will that augurs well for next season," he elaborated.
Sunrisers Hyderabad will take on the Chennai Super Kings in the first Qualifier on Tuesday (May 22) at the Wankhede Stadium. The South African batting genius picked CSK to win the cash-rich event.
"The IPL remains brilliantly unpredictable. However, if forced to make a prediction, I would not be surprised to see SRH, brilliantly led by Kane Williamson, play CSK in the final, and then for yet one more burst of MS Dhoni magic to propel the team in yellow to the title," De Villiers concluded.