- Match 6 in IPL 2021 turns out to be a thriller as RCB makes a comeback
- Shahbaz Ahmed takes 3 wickets in just one over, sent two settled batsmen back to the dressing room
- RCB skipper Virat Kohli reprimanded for violating IPL’s Code of Conduct
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Royal Challengers Bangalore’s left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed (3/7) dished out a match-winning performance after Glenn Maxwell’s half-century to help them notch up a six-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday night.
In the first inning, RCB managed to put up 149 for the loss of 8 wickets on the scoreboard on the back of Maxwell’s 59 run inning off of 41 balls before Shahbaz changed the direction of the game by dismissing Manish Pandey (38), Jonny Bairstow (12) and Abdul Samad (0) in the 17th over of the match, as SRH ended at 143 for 9 in the stipulated 20 overs.
The victory propelled RCB to the top of the table, winning both of their matches in IPL 2021 campaign.
Chasing what seemed like a rather easy target, SRH lost opener Wriddhiman Saha (1) cheaply at the start of the third over. However, SRH skipper David Warner (54) and Pandey looked to make short work of the chase, running towards the target with the SRH needing 73 off the last 60 balls of the match.
The duo looked to have settled down, smashing boundaries every over to keep the scoreboard moving until the 14th over when the Australian, who hit seven fours and a six, was dismissed off a Kyle Jamieson off-cutter.
RCB’s confidence surged as they dismissed SRH’s danger man David Warner and RCB’s bolwing attack started limiting boundaries. With the pressure mounting, Bairstow, Pandey and Samad tried to target Shahbaz but mistimed their shots to return to the pavilion in the 17th over.
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Vijay Shankar (3) and Jason Holder (4) struggled as well.
SRH’s Rashid Khan gave the team some hope as he smashed 18 from 9 deliveries but was soon run out trying to convert a single into two.
Earlier, the SRH bowlers, led by West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder (3/30) and star spinner Rashid Khan (2/18), put up a superlative show and picked up wickets at regular intervals.
For RCB, Maxwell was the top scorer, hitting five fours and three sixes with skipper Virat Kohli (33), Shahbaz Ahmed (14), and Kyle Jamieson (12) providing valuable contributions.
Put in to bat, RCB were off to a decent start with their skipper Kohli and opener Devdutt Padikkal (11) hitting a few boundaries. However, Sunrisers didn’t have to wait long for their first breakthrough as a back of the length delivery in the third over by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/30) spelt the end of Padikkal, who had returned after recovering from COVID-19.
Shahbaz was the next batsman to depart after playing a quick cameo, leaving RCB at 47 for 2.
At the halfway mark, Maxwell raised the tempo as the big-hitting Australian smashed Shahbaz Nadeem (1/36) for two sixes and a four in the first three balls of the 11th over of the inning, with Kohli joining the party with a boundary soon after.
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The two stitched a 44-run partnership before Jason Holder got rid of the RCB skipper as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals. walking off the field, the RCB skipper, in anger, hit an advertising cushion on the boundary before whacking a chair in the team’s dugout with his bat which earned him a reprimand from the authorities as he violated IPL’s Code of Conduct.
Virat admitted to Level 1 offence 2.2 which relates to “Abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during a Match”.
With AB de Villiers (1) in the middle, SRH captain David Warner introduced spin yet again, bringing on versatile leg-spinner Rashid, and the move immediately paid dividends. The dangerous South African slapped the ball straight to Warner at the covers with the slow nature of the Chepauk track coming into play once again.
The Afghan spinner, Rashid, did his trick and struck once again, getting rid of Washinton Sundar (8).
As Dan Christian was also sent back to the dug-out, Maxwell smashed three fours and a maximum in the last three overs to give RCB some breathing room in defending the score.
Former IPL champions SRH lost their opening match to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) while RCB beat Mumbai Indians (MI) in the tournament opener on the 9th of April.