KS Bharat seals it for RCB against Delhi Capitals with a last ball six
Royal Challengers Bangalore 166 for 3 ( Bharat 78*, Maxwell 51*, Nortje 24/2) beat Delhi Capitals 164 for 5 (Prithvi Shaw 48, Siraj 25/2) by seven wickets.
The 56th match of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 was played between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and table-toppers Delhi Capitals (DC) at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. This game didn’t possess much value considering playoff scenarios.
Bangalore win toss, opt to field
Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to field. Both teams didn’t make any changes in their eleven from the last game.
Shaw and Dhawan provide flying start
Delhi openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan started sensibly against off-spinner Glenn Maxwell and Mohammed Siraj. They improved their run rate with time to score a total of 56 runs in the powerplay. Shaw struck an elegant straight six to the best spinner of Bangalore, Yuzvendra Chahal while Dhawan hammered a maximum to Purple Cap holder Harshal Patel over square leg with a flick.
However, Dhawan got out while playing a lofted shot to Harshal, as the ball took the leading edge to extra cover, to get pouched by Daniel Christian. Shaw launched a flamboyant sixer against Chahal again on the first ball of 12th over, however, he got caught around extra cover by George Garton.
Bangalore bowlers hamper Capitals’ progress
These two wickets put two new batters on the pitch, skipper Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer. Though skipper Pant returned to dugout early, as the slow bouncer of Christian took the fine edge of Pant’s bat to rest in the gloves of Shrikar Bharat.
Iyer and Shimron Hetmyer steadied the ship in the middle overs. Iyer went for a lofted shot over long-on to a low full-toss bowled by Siraj, only to be caught by Christian.
He made a run-a-ball 18. Hetmyer launched some strokes to take Capitals over 160, however, faultless death bowling from Harshal, Siraj and Garton kept Capitals batters in check. They conceded only 36 runs in the last five overs, so Capitals could register a moderate total of 164 runs in 20 overs by losing five wickets. Hetmyer got out on the final ball, making 29 runs off 22 balls.
Nortje floors Royal Challengers openers
Anrich Nortje opened the bowling for Capitals and bowed tight lines throughout the spell. Bangalore opener Devdutt Padikkal sliced the ball towards third man, while trying for an uppercut, but got caught by Ravichandran Ashwin.
Skipper Virat Kohli didn’t look at his best with an LBW shout against him by Avesh Khan. He lofted a slog on long-on off the delivery of Nortje, which went in the air, only for him to be caught at mid-on by Kagiso Rabada.
Royal Challengers stalwart AB de Villiers came at two down, to join Srikar Bharat in the middle. Bharat launched a gigantic sixer to left-arm spinner Axar Patel and followed it with a beautiful sweep, to get four runs towards short fine leg. His partner De Villiers danced down the wicket and clobbered a sixer over long-on off Ashwin.
Also, he hammered a straight stroke around long-off in the next over, which reached the boundary like a bullet. However, De Villiers got caught by Shreyas Iyer at deep mid-wicket, while trying to launch the ball for a sixer off the delivery of Patel.
Bharat, Maxwell clinch victory in a nail-biting finish
Bharat continued to bat sensibly against pacers and clubbed occasional boundaries to spinners. He smoked a powerful six over the head of Patel in the 12th over. Capitals fielders dropped two easy chances of Glenn Maxwell; they also dropped a difficult catch of Bharat at long-off.
In the meantime, Bharat completed his fifty off 37 balls with a double. In the 17th over, he launched an elegant six off a slower one from Rabada over deep mid-wicket.
Maxwell also completed his fifty in just 32 balls, in the final over of the match. As six runs were needed on the final delivery, Bharat put his all power behind the smack, to take the ball over the boundary to help Bangalore to vanquish table-toppers DC in the last league match.
Bharat finished the game with a match-winning knock of 78 runs off 52 balls, comprising of three fours and four gigantic sixes.
After this morale-boosting win, Royal Challengers Bangalore will play in the eliminator game against Kolkata Knight Riders at Sharjah on Monday, while Delhi Capitals will take on Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday in the first Qualifier match.
Top Twitter Reactions as RCB beat Delhi Capitals
Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Delhi Capitals by seven wickets. Srikar Bharat seals it for RCB with the last ball six. RCB needed 5 off the last ball against Avesh Khan, Barath hit it out of the part. He scored 78 runs off 52 balls. Cricket fans and former players appreciated Srikar Bharat's effort. Here are some of the finest Twitter Reactions from RCBvDC: