Maxwell-Chahal lead Bangalore to playoffs, Punjab falter yet again in death overs
Royal Challengers Bangalore 164 for 7 (Maxwell 57, Henriques 3/12, Shami 3/39) beat Punjab Kings 158 for 6 (Agarwal 57, Chahal 3/29) by 6 runs.
Glenn Maxwell’s consecutive fifty and Yuzvendra Chahal’s brilliant 3 for 29 helped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to become the third franchise to qualify for the playoffs in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Delhi Capitals (DC) are sitting comfortably on the top two spots.
The 48th fixture was played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium between Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore and KL Rahul’s Punjab Kings in the first double header on Sunday.
RCB bat first, post 164/7
Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first with an unchanged line-up which won against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the previous game. Punjab, however, made three changes in their team from their last game bringing Harpreet Brar, Sarfraz Khan and Moises Henriques in place of Fabian Allen, Deepak Hooda and Nathan Ellis.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s openers, Kohli and Padikkal provided a 68-run stand before Kohli tried to hoick Moises Henriques over mid-on and was bowled in the process with the ball keeping low.
Dan Christian was caught by Sarfaraz for a duck on the very next ball and Padikkal followed him soon after edging the ball to wicketkeeper KL Rahul after smashing 40 runs from 38 balls with four fours and two sixes.
Henriques, the right arm fast-medium pacer from Australia, took three wickets in quick succession for PBKS and conceded only 12 runs in his spell of four overs.
After losing three wickets in quick succession, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers built a partnership of 73 runs in 40 balls. Maxwell changed the momentum of the game by scoring yet another half-century taking him to his fifth IPL fifty this season of the Indian Premier League. He smashed 57 runs from 33 balls with three fours and four sixes. De Villiers scored only 23 runs from 18 balls with one four and two sixes underscoring the lack of form he is facing this season.
De Villiers was dismissed through some good fielding by Sarfraz Khan who was playing in his first game of IPL 2021. He produced a direct hit against the run of play to dismiss the veteran South African and took a brilliant catch to dismiss the well-settled Maxwell.
Mohammed Shami, after getting hit for a six in the 20th over, went on to take three wickets and conceded 39 runs from his four overs, scrapping the wickets of Glenn Maxwell, Shahbaz Ahmad and George Garton.
PBKS flounder after brilliant start, slip from 91/0 in 10.4 overs to be found 6 runs short in the end
Bangalore successfully defended the score of 164 runs and stopped Punjab on 158 runs with the loss of six wickets in their 20 overs of batting. Royal Challengers Bangalore have now become the third team after Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals to qualify for the 14th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
The openers KL Rahul and Mayank Aggarwal once again registered a brilliant partnership of 91 runs from almost 11 overs.
Rahul scored 39 runs from 35 balls with one four and two sixes. Mayank scored another half-century in this edition of IPL. He scored 57 runs from 42 balls with six fours and two sixes. They set a platform for the other players but the middle-order batters were not able to make the use of the good start.
Chahal was the pick of the bowlers for Bangalore as he took three wickets and conceded just 29 runs from his four overs.
RCB qualify with 16 points, PBKS have much to ponder at 10
With this victory, Royal Challengers Bangalore remain at the third spot with 16 points in 12 games. Punjab Kings are at the fifth position with 10 points in 12 games. With KKR and MI also at the same number of points, the race for the fourth spot is going to be a three-way tussle now.
The second game of the day is in progress at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Twitter Reactions as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Punjab Kings
Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Punjab Kings by six runs and become third team to qualify for playoffs. Punjab have to win their final game and wait for other results to fall in their favour. A lot of cricket fans and former cricketers showed mixed reactions over RCB's win and Punjab's failure in death overs.
Here are some of the finest twitter reactions from RCBvsPBKS: