IPL 2021 | Sport

Royal Challengers Bangalore books playoff berth

Smashing away: Maxwell hit four sixes in his half-century as he powered RCB to a winning total.  

Royal Challengers Bangalore sealed a playoff berth following a six-run win over Punjab Kings at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

After Glenn Maxwell (57, 33b, 3x4, 4x6) powered RCB to 164, PBKS fell short despite the best efforts of Mayank Agarwal (57, 42b, 6x4, 2x6) and K.L. Rahul (39, 35b, 1x4, 2x6), with Yuzvendra Chahal impressing for RCB yet again (4-0-29-3).

PBKS’ playoff hopes now depend on its final match against Chennai Super Kings and results elsewhere.

For a while, PBKS seemed on course in the chase. Mayank and Rahul collected 49 runs from the PowerPlay, and in the 10th over, Mayank started to take flight, hitting Chahal for two boundaries, before sending Shahbaz Ahmed soaring into the stands.

Double blow

But Shahbaz broke the 91-run partnership by having Rahul caught at short third-man. Chahal’s double blow in the 16th over decisively turned the match in RCB’s favour, with Mayank caught at short third-man and Sarfaraz Khan bowled for a golden duck.

Harshal Patel and George Garton then bolted the door with a few tight overs.

Earlier, RCB’s total owed much to the 40-ball, 73-run fourth-wicket partnership between Maxwell and A.B. de Villiers (23, 18b, 1x4, 2x6).

Virat Kohli (25, 24b) and Devdutt Padikkal (40, 38b, 4x4, 2x6) scored 55 in the PowerPlay, but were lucky as Rahul missed stumping Kohli and dropped Padikkal in one Ravi Bishnoi over.

The leggie was also unlucky when the third umpire did not give Padikkal out caught behind despite ‘ultra edge’ showing a clear spike when the ball passed the glove.

Moises Henriques’ introduction changed matters as he bowled four outstanding overs for 12 runs and accounted for Kohli, Padikkal and surprise No. 3 Dan Christian.

Max takes over

However, the genius of Maxwell soon took over. He hit Harpreet Brar and Bishnoi for four sixes in the arc between deep square-leg and long-on and buttressed his swashbuckling form with a superb switch-hit boundary in front of square. He got to his 50 off just 29 balls.

The expected end-overs flourish didn’t arrive as Maxwell and de Villiers departed within seven balls of each other.

But it didn’t matter eventually.


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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 6:24:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/royal-challengers-bangalore-books-playoff-berth/article36813159.ece

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