IPL 2021: Maxwell & Chahal Shine as RCB Clinch Playoff Spot
Royal Challengers Bangalore have qualified for the playoffs of IPL 2021.
Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore confirmed their spot in the playoffs of IPL 2021 after they saw off the challenge of Punjab Kings in Sharjah. RCB won by 6 runs while Punjab’s fate would depend on other results.
A fantastic partnership between Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers helped RCB post 164/7 before the bowlers, especially Yuzvendra Chahal struck telling blows to derail Punjab, who lost their way after the openers were dismissed.
Opting to bat first, RCB were looking to get off to a good start with Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal scoring freely in the initial phase. The duo played some beautiful shots and took RCB to 55/0 at the end of the powerplay.
However, during the process, Kohli was given a few lifelines by the Punjab team. In the 4th over of the innings bowled by Ravi Bishnoi, Virat stepped out of his crease and KL Rahul missed a relatively easy stumping chance to dismiss RCB captain. Very soon, Sarfaraz Khan dropped Kohli's catch at midwicket.
The 8th over, bowled by Ravi Bishnoi was the most eventful one when KL Rahul and Punjab Kings were left baffled after a caught-behind appeal was turned down against Devdutt Padikkal.
Padikkal, who was struggling to read the leg-spinner's googlies, went for a reverse sweep but was not able to execute the shot properly and got an under-edge.
Both, Bishnoi and KL Rahul went up in appeal immediately but the on-field umpire did not give it out, forcing Rahul to go for the review. The replays showed the ball kissed Padikkal's gloves before crashing into KL Rahul's gloves. However, the third umpire deemed it not out and went with the on-field call, leaving Rahul and Bishnoi frustrated.
Thereafter, Punjab captain Rahul brought Moises Henriques (3/12) into the attack and he wreaked havoc. First, he dismissed Kohli (25) and then got rid of Daniel Christian in the next ball to bring Punjab back in the game. In his next over, Henriques struck again to remove a set Padikkal for 40.
After losing the wickets of Kohli, Christian, and Padikkal in quick succession, Bangalore were at 73/3 and in big trouble. But, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers batted well and stitched a good partnership to bring RCB back on track.
While Maxwell was the aggressor, de Villiers batted cautiously. Continuing his brilliant form, Maxwell cleverly targeted the short boundary and hit a few big sixes to complete his fifty off just 29 balls in the 18th over. De Villiers (23 off 18) also hit Arshdeep Singh for a six in the first ball of the over, before getting out to him in the next ball.
Mohammed Shami (3/39) put brakes on RCB's run-rate in the 20th over as he dismissed Maxwell (57 off 33), Shahbaz Ahmed (8), and George Garton in the same over.
With their season on the line, Rahul and Mayank Agarwal started off in fine fashion, scoring freely in the powerplay. The stylish batters played some fantastic shots as the likes of Mohammed Siraj and George Garton got carted around the park.
Rahul and Mayank brought up the fifty-run partnership in the 7th over after finishing the powerplay at 49/0.
Yuzvendra Chahal, Shahbaz Ahmed and Harshal Patel applied the brakes somewhat as Punjab’s openers kept chipping away at the target. After the 10th over, Punjab were 81/0.
And even as the duo looked good for the long haul, Rahul (39) was dismissed while looking to clear the ropes. The captain danced down the track to Shahbaz and an outside edge landed in Harshal’s hands at short third.
Mayank was then joined by Nicholas Pooran, who could not hang in there for too long and was dismissed for 3 by Chahal with the score at 99/2. In the same over, Mayank completed his fifty just before Pooran was dismissed.
Punjab went into the final six overs needing 63 with Aiden Markram joining Mayank, after they lost some of the momentum the openers had given.
The duo picked off 11 runs from Siraj’s over to say with the run-rate before Chahal decided to take charge.
The wily spinner first foxed Mayank, who tried to sweep but top edged it to short third, and sent him packing for 57, which was a massive blow for Punjab. Chahal then knocked over Sarfaraz Khan off the first delivery, and almost had Shahrukh Khan caught bowled, as he finished his spell with figures of 3/29.
Markram, who threatened to do some damage to RCB, was the next to go for 20, deceived by the lack of pace, caught by Dan Christian off Garton.
Moises Henriques joined Shahrukh Khan with the later hammering Harshal for a monster six. However, the duo could not do the job, with Shahrukh being run out with 5 deliveries to go for 16 off 11.
Henriques smashed Harshal for a six in the final over but it was too little too late as RCB won by 6 runs.
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