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IPL 2021: Shahbaz seals victory for RCB with three-wicket over

Brief Scores: RCB 149 for 8 (Maxwell 59, Kohli 33, Holder 3-30, Rashid 2-18) beat SRH 143 for 9 (Warner 54, Pandey 38, Siraj 2-25, Ahmed 3-7, Patel 2-25) by six runs

RCB pull a rabbit out of the hat against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday after what Mumbai Indians did the other night to Kolkata Knight Riders. The seventh match of IPL 2021 between RCB and SRH witnessed collapse, a bit of mayhem in the middle and the rise of a new hero.

After posting a below-par 149-run total in the first innings, RCB bowlers made a phenomenal comeback in the latter stage of the second innings to restrict SRH to 143 runs. As a result, the Red Army won the game by 6 runs at Chapauk courtesy of Shahbaz Ahmed's three-wicket over.

RCB’s 6-run win was one special victory for them in many ways. They now have two wins in 2 games, making a perfect start to their IPL 2021 campaign.

Here’s a look at three major talking points of the sixth match between RCB and SRH:

Glenn Maxwell’s (59) knock turned out to be the difference in the match

When Glenn Maxwell joined Virat Kohli in the middle in the first innings, the team weren’t in a great position. RCB had lost two wickets for 47 in 6 overs. Glenn Maxwell then steadied the ship along with the skipper and added 44 runs for the third wicket. They guided RCB to 91 runs in 12 overs before losing Kohli (33) to an excellent catch in the deep by Vijay Shankar.

Add to their misery, AB de Villiers (1) got out in the very next over, leaving Maxwell with a lot to do. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals but Maxwell stayed till the very last ball of the innings. He played a responsible knock, making sure he only punishes the bad balls. Maxwell scored 59 runs off 41 balls, including 5 fours and 3 sixes. RCB reached 149 runs in the first innings. As it turned out, his knock proved to be the difference in the end.

RCB bowlers putting on a show at Chepauk

How often do you see RCB bowlers restricting the opposition from chasing a below-par total? The last time RCB defended such a low total was back in 2009. Since then, they haven’t defended as a low as the one today.

Not a lot of people believed that RCB can pull it off, given how they have been bowling in death overs for the last few years.

But the new brigade is full of confidence and showed heart in the latter stage of the second innings. And, a special mention to captain Virat Kohli for rotating his bowlers and holding slow bowlers for the death.

Young spinner, Shahbaz Ahmed took 3 crucial wickets in the 17th over. Let alone his position isn't certain in the team and today he turned the game on its head completely. Bagging Bairstow, Manish Pandey and Abdul Samad in the same over, he pulled back RCB into the contest. Harshal Patel once again bowled well for his 2 for 25 in 4 overs. Not to forget Mohammed Siraj’s tight lengths in the powerplay overs as he created pressure from one end.

SRH’s collapse after the strategic time out

SRH were dominating the chase till 13 overs with David Warner batting at 54 off 37 balls. However, three overs after Warner’s wicket in the 14th over saw a total collapse as SRH lost 8 wickets for just 27 runs in the space of just 22 balls.

With 35 runs needed in the last 24 balls, the skipper brought Shahbaz Ahmed into the attack in the 16th over after the strategic time-out. The left-arm spinner accounted for two important wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey in the first two balls of the over.

Young sensation, Abdul Samad too lost his wicket on the last ball of the over, leaving SRH in all sorts of trouble at 116 for 5 after the end of the 16th over. All three batsmen lost their wickets while trying to play across the line when the ball was turning away from them. That over turned the game completely in RCB’s favour. In a bid to hit the big shots, Jason Holder and Rashid Khan also went back in the next two overs. SRH in the end could only manage to score 143 in their 20 overs.

Questions To Be Answered

What is Sundar’s role in RCB this year?

In the last game, Sundar batted at number three. Against SRH, he was moved to the sixth position. Moreover, he hasn’t been given the new ball in the first two games like the previous year. What role have RCB given to the all-rounder this year remains an unsolved puzzle thus far.

Who is going to finish the games for SRH?

It was another disappointing show from SRH’s middle order on Wednesday. Ahead of their third game of the season, would they make any changes in the playing eleven to solidify their middle-order or stick to the same combination?

Records Broken in the seventh match of IPL 2021 between RCB and SRH

1. David Warner is now the highest-scoring batsman against Royal Challengers Bangalore with 838 runs, passing the previous leader MS Dhoni who has 834 to his name.

2. 149-run total defended against SRH is now the fourth-lowest total defended by RCB in IPL.

3. RCB won two back-to-back games in an IPL season was back in 2014 and now in 2021


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