IPL 2021, RCB vs PBKS: Royal Challengers Bangalore Sail Into Playoffs With 6-Run Win Over Punjab Kings

Royal Challengers Bangalore Win

Punjab Kings once again bungled a chase, allowing Royal Challengers Bangalore to book a play-off berth with a six-run victory in an IPL game on Sunday. Glenn Maxwell smashed 57 and then Yuzvendra Chahal spun a web around Punjab Kings as they once again bungled a chase, allowing Royal Challengers Bangalore to book a play-off berth with a six-run victory. Punjab Kings reached 164 for 7, the highest team total in Sharjah this season, thanks to Maxwell’s 34-ball 57, and Chahal then dominated the middle-overs with a game-changing spell of 3/29, which saw KL Rahul’s team finish at 158 for 6.

Source: IPL

RCB became the third team, behind Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals, to reach the last four stage with 16 points from 12 games.

Punjab Kings can reach 12 points with 10 points from 13 games, but with a net run-rate of -0.241 and having played one more match than Rajasthan Royals (10 points), Mumbai Indians (10 points), and KKR (10 points) before the evening game, they are all but out of the race.

Punjab Kings were unable to complete another close encounter, and their skipper Rahul must shoulder much of the blame, as his 39 off 35 balls caused more harm than good to his team’s cause.

Match after match, Rahul has taken the game deep and then frittered away the lead, after which the Punjab Kings’ below-par middle-order, possibly the poorest in the tournament, is bungling up big time.

In the 11th over, Punjab Kings were 91 for no loss when Rahul’s indiscreet shot selection trying to hit left-arm spinner Sahbaz Ahmed against turn impacted the game’s outcome.

Mayank Agarwal (57 off 42 balls) was more aggressive, but Chahal’s cleve fluctuation in pace misled him as he top edged a sweep stroke.

Nicholas Pooran (less than 100 runs in 11 games) is probably the luckiest player in the team, as he played another wild sweep shot off a flung up Chahal delivery, and a clearly overweight Sarfaraz Khan was fooled by a traditional leg-break.

Punjab required 27 runs from the final two overs, and Mohammed Siraj (0/33 in four overs) produced a brilliant penultimate over to reduce the equation to 19 runs from the final over, which Harshal Patel (0/27 in four overs) defended successfully by slowing down his deliveries.

Glenn Maxwell’s six-hitting power was on display earlier in the day, when his 33-ball 57 pushed Royal Challengers Bangalore to a daunting 164 for 7 against Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League on Sunday.

After electing to bat, RCB’s middle order collapsed after openers Devdutt Padikkal (40; 38 balls, 4×4; 2×6) and Virat Kohli (25; 24 balls, 2×4; 1×6) put up 68 runs for the first wicket.

Maxwell, who is having one of his greatest IPL seasons, blasted four sixes and three fours in 29 balls to finish with 50 runs.

He and AB De Villiers, the two best T20 hitters in the world (23 off 18 balls; 1×4; 2×6), put on a 73-run fourth-wicket stand to get their team back on track.

Kohli got things started with a four, while Padikkal hit Arshdeep Singh (0/42 in 3 overs) for a back-to-back six over deep midwicket and a boundary, an immaculate cut, in the third over, in which RCB scored 13 runs.

Padikkal then went after leggie Ravi Bishnoi (0/35 in 4 overs), striking two boundaries over his head in a similar method. Kohli was in his element after getting a reprieve in the fifth over when youthful Sarfaraz Khan lost a difficult chance at short-mid wicket. After Powerplay, the duo tore into the Punjab Kings attack, racing to a 55/0 lead.

Padikkal was declared not out in the eighth over, despite a wiggle spotted off his glove by the third umpire off Bishnoi. Punjab, on the other hand, pinned RCB back with three fast wickets, all taken by Moises Henriques (3/12 in 4 overs).

He cleaned up Kohli first, then pushed Dan Christian to give Sarfaraz Khan a legal catch on the following ball.

As RCB was teetering at 73/3, Henriques dismissed Padikkal, who nicked one to Rahul. Maxwell then went on a tear, leading the team above the 160-run barrier.