Chris Gayle could not produce an encore against the side he smashed a world record 175 a few days back, but AB De Villiers more than made up for the big West Indian's failure by playing a little gem of an innings to lead the Royal Challengers Bangalore past the beleaguered Pune Warriors.
De Villers (50 n.o.) annihilated the Pune Warriors bowlers in the final overs to give RCB a huge total of 187 for three at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.
Pune Warriors threatened to pull off an improbable victory, courtesy a brilliant 75 from Robin Uthappa, but RCB held their nerve in the end to garner a 17-run win, as the home side finished on 170 for nine.
RCB snapped a two-match losing streak and also picked up their first away win in IPL 2013, to move to within four points of table toppers CSK, while Pune stay rooted to the bottom with their ninth loss in eleven games.
The top and middle order failed to make an impact for the Pune Warriors yet again, but there was one difference this time around - Robin Uthappa actually played a real innings of note.
Aaron Finch struck a couple of boundaries, but was castled by Moises Henriques for 15, before Thirumalasetti Suman was run out after scoring just eleven.
Yuvraj Singh (16, 11b, 2x6) has flattered to deceive in IPL 2013, and his uninspiring run showed no signs of ending, holing out at long-on to De Villiers off Vinay Kumar.
Steven Smith, for once, could not manage a big score, falling in the same over to Vinay Kumar, caught behind by Arun Karthik as Pune warriors were staring down the barrel at 81 for four.
Then came the partnership which brought Pune Warriors back into the game, between Uthappa, who was enjoying himself against his former side, and Angelo Mathews.
The duo put together 63 runs in just 5.3 overs, with the 16th over from Mutthiah Muralitharan yielding 21 runs.
Pune Warriors needed 45 runs from the last four overs after that big over, but the crucial wicket of Mathews (32, 19b, 3x6) turned the tide in RCB's favour yet again, with the Sri Lankan all-rounder having to walk back thanks to a brilliant catch from Gayle off Vinay Kumar.
The 18th over from Murali Kartik, yielded two more wickets for RCB, including the most important one of Uthappa.
Abhishek Nayar first holed out to De Villers at long-on, before Uthappa (75, 45b, 5x5, 5x6), after smashing a boundary, top-edged one to RP Singh at point as Pune Warriors' resistance neared the end, with Pune falling 17-run short.
In the first innings, RCB just lent into the Pune Warriors bowlers in the final five overs after Sourabh Tiwary laid a nice foundation.
All eyes were on Chris Gayle, though, after his immense 175 not out against the same opponents in Bangalore earlier in IPL 2013. There were a couple of instances when it looked like we might be in for an encore, courtesy two nice boundaries and a huge six.
However, Gayleforce did not quite catch on in Pune, with the big West Indian falling to part-time off spinner Thirumalasetti Suman in the seventh over. A ball after smashing a big maximum, Gayle (21, 21b, 2x4, 1x6) went for one more, but only found a top edge, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking a nice catch.
Virat Kohli, who has been a little off-colour in the last couple of games, looked good during his 18-ball 25-run stay, taking Yuvraj Singh to the cleaners in one over. But a you-miss-and-I-hit delivery from Ashok Dinda saw the back of the RCB captain.
Tiwary at the other end was going along nicely at a little over run-a-ball, with AB De Villiers bringing his entertaining and effective style into play.
RCB chugged along to 119 for two after 15 overs, with Tiwary (52, 45b, 2x4, 2x6) reaching his half-century in the previous over, before getting out in the first ball of the 16th. A paddle sweep went astray, with Rahul Sharma taking the catch at short fine-leg off Dinda.
Frome there on, it was all De Villiers really, with Moises Henriques acting as the perfect foil. The duo combined for 68 runs in just 4.5 overs, leaving the Pune Warriors having to chase a huge target.
De Villiers was just awesome to watch, moving around the crease prior to every delivery, but still getting in position perfectly to take toll of almost every single delivery.
The South African had six fours and two maximums in his 23-ball 50, with reverse sweeps, pickup shots, drives straight past the bowler and many more uniquely De Villiers shots keeping the capacity crowd entertained - even if it was from the blade of the away side's batsman.
Henriques also contributed a precious 13-ball 27 (4x4, 1x6), with De Villiers annihilating Dinda in the last over of the innings, taking the fast bowler for 26 runs, which took RCB to an imposing 187 for three.