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    IPL 2021 | Maxwell and bowlers help Royal Challengers pip Sunrisers

    The Australian’s 41-ball 59 lifts Kohli’s side to 149 on a sluggish pitch before Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal and Siraj choke Warner’s men in the chase

    The triple strike in the 17th over by Royal Challengers left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed threw the game wide open. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Jonny Bairstow perished to a slog sweep with AB de Villiers plucking a sensational catch.

    Then Manish Pandey, who stroked well for his 38, was done in by a delivery that spun away from him. And Abdul Samad’s attempted slog sweep off a delivery that bounced more settled in bowler Shahbaz’s hands.

    From 96 for one, with David Warner at the crease, Sunrisers, shockingly, collapsed to 130 for eight, chasing 150. It was madness and mayhem out there. And RCB holding its nerve in the humdinger won by six runs in the IPL clash at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday.

    The beginning of the chase was so different. The left-handed Warner pulled Kyle Jamieson ferociously, harnessing the pace and bounce. Then Manish Pandey whipped the Kiwi for the maximum.

    The intrepid Warner was picking the length early and getting into positions quickly.

    Kohli sought wickets through Yuzvendra Chahal. The diminutive Chahal lacks a potent wrong ‘un to give his bowling the cutting edge. Warner reverse swept Chahal to the fence.

    Then came the pivotal moment. Jamieson, back for a second burst, forced a miscue from Warner by going around the wicket and taking the pace off the ball. RCB was back in the hunt. Then Ahmed turned the game on its head.

    Earlier, Kohli flicked Natarajan to the fence. Yet, RCB lost wickets and momentum after being inserted and among them was the skipper (33) swinging Jason Holder to be brilliantly held by Vijay Shankar.

    Eventually, it was Glenn Maxwell’s 41-ball 59 that provided substance to the RCB innings; 149 for eight was a combative score.

    Maxwell was the cynosure. When Rashid Khan, with his bag of tricks. flighted at Maxwell, the ball spinning outside off, the Australian unleashed the expansive drive through extra cover. His still head and consequent balance have made him a lot more solid. Rashid, bowling with guile and control, took out the gifted A.B. de Villiers by turning the ball further from him.

    Maxwell held fort, countered Rashid with maturity and went after the rest. His was an invaluable innings.

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