But Kohli and De Villiers soon made a mockery of these early struggles and put on a marvellous stand of 118 for the next wicket, the visiting skipper hitting 10 boundaries.
Talking about the match, Rishabh Pant scored his seventh IPL fifty, ably supported by Abhishek Sharma's blistering 46 as Delhi amassed a total of 181 runs at the loss of four wickets. They have faced issues in all three departments of the game.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers are looking to attack and rightly so. Eventually, De Villiers found his touch and the Daredevils had no place to hide, with nearly every third ball being dispatched to the boundary via air or along the ground. By the time the Power Play was done, Bangalore were 58 for 2 and on course for the chase. The equation for Virat Kohli's team is simple: they can not afford another slip-up - like the one which resulted in the loss to Hyderabad at the start of the week. The third-wicket stand between the duo injected momentum into the visitor's innings and took them past the 100 run mark in the eleventh over, leaving them 79 to get off nine overs.
Bowling coach James Hopes indicated that the ones without any match-time might get a look-in. He finished his quota of overs, conceding just the 25.
Kolkata moved to fourth, behind Punjab on net run-rate. Kohli, however, was picked out by Mishra in the next over for a rollicking 40-ball 70 but the strike from the legspinner, came a bit late in the night.
The Daredevils' tally swelled from 120-4 to 181-4 as they allowed Sharma to step into Pant's shoes, notching 21 in a 22-run 17th over to set a far more hard target for the visitors.
Yuzvendra Chahal accounted for both as he picked off middle stump behind both Prithvi Shaw (2) and the bamboozled Jason Roy (12) to leave the Daredevils reeling on 16-2. While Shaw was defeated by a flipper, Roy played all around a googly.
Where do the teams go from here?
The southpaw got going by depositing Mohammed Siraj for successive sixes in the eighth over, one came off a pull over midwicket and the other was a flatter hit over long-off. Tim Southee was the unfortunate bowler who eventually leaked 22 runs in the 17th over with Sharma smashing him for two sixes in a row.
In a desperate attempt to break the threatening stand, Kohli summoned Chahal to bowl the 12th over. He raced to his fourth fifty of the season off 27 balls and was poised for another big innings. AB de Villiers sprinted and slid to claim the shot with a spectacular catch near the boundary rope, dismissing Delhi's young left-hander for 61 off 34.
But the former India Under-19 batsman's heroics lasted only till the 13th over as Moeen Ali arrived with a good length delivery which tempted Pant to go for another boundary.
Earlier, Rishabh Pant continued his destructive form with a 34-ball 61 before Abhishek Sharma impressed on his IPL debut to push Daredevils to 181/4.