Royal Challengers Bangalore have already booked their place in the play-offs and one of the main reasons for that is the form of their Aussie batsman Glenn Maxwell.
RCB had to win Wednesday’s match against Sunrisers Hyderabad to qualify for the second spot in the points table and it came down to Maxwell to deliver on the day.
As fate would have it, RCB, who restricted SRH to 141 for 7 in 20 overs on a slow track in Abu Dhabi, found the going tough during their chase.
They had the worst start so far this season as Bhuvneshwar Kumar trapped Virat Kohli off the last ball of the opening over before Siddharth Kaul induced a leading edge off Dan Christian’s bat off a slower delivery in the 4th over.
While Devdutt Padikkal struggled to get his timing going at one end, S Bharat took a few runs off Kaul before becoming SRH newbee Umran Malik’s first IPL wicket.
That brought Maxwell into the arena and he didn’t waste much time to get going. His confidence soaring high after a spate of good scores this season, Maxwell took on Rashid Khan and clubbed him for sixes and a four while taking on the fielders and riding his luck running tight singles and twos.
Maxwell and Padikkal ran hard and brought up their 50-run stand in the 14th over.
Just when it looked like Maxwell was ready to up the ante and take on Rashid again, Padikkal’s error of judgment cost the team big.
Rashid came on to bowl the 15th over and Padikkal wanted to get off strike, so off the very first ball, the young batsman played the ball to cover and called for a run.
It proved a poor call as Kane Williamson slid, picked up the ball and fired it straight at the stumps — his direct hit found Maxwell short of his crease. A fuming Maxwell run out for 40 off 25.
Thereafter, RCB lost their way and even with the experienced A B de Villiers in the middle, their innings just couldn’t come back on track.
The slow nature of the track made big hitting a task and although Shahbaz Ahmed and ABD kept their team in the hunt, it was always going to be a big ask with SRH holding their nerve to log just their third win this campaign.
- IPL 2021
- IPL 2021: POINTS TABLE
- IPL 2021: TURNING POINTS
- IPL 2021: STAR PERFORMERS
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