IPL 2021: Shahbaz does the star turn as RCB pip SRH

Shahbaz Ahmed
Shahbaz Ahmed turned the game on its head. Photo: Twitter/IPL
RCB won by 6 runs

MA Chidambaram Stadium

(149/8) (20)
(143/9) (20)

Chennai: Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed (3/7) dished out a match-winning performance after Glenn Maxwell's half-century to help Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) notch up a six-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday.

Put in to bat, RCB managed 149/8 on the back of Maxwell's 41-ball 59 before Shahbaz changed the complexion of the match by dismissing Manish Pandey (38), Jonny Bairstow (12) and Abdul Samad (0) in one over, as SRH ended at 143/9 in the stipulated 20 overs.

The victory propelled RCB to the top of the table.

Chasing a modest total, SRH lost opener Wriddhiman Saha (1) in the third over. However, skipper David Warner (54) and Pandey looked to make short work of the chase, galloping towards the target with the Sunrisers needing 73 off the last 10 overs.

The duo looked in ominous touch, smashing boundaries every over to keep the score board ticking until the 14th over when Warner, who hit seven fours and a six, was dismissed off a Kyle Jamieson off-cutter.

David Warner
David Warner's fifty went in vain. Photo: Twitter/IPL


IPL 2021 Points Table
Pos Team Mat Won Lost Tied N/R Pts NRR
8 6 2 0 0 12 +0.547
7 5 2 0 0 10 +1.263
7 5 2 0 0 10 -0.171
7 4 3 0 0 8 +0.062
7 3 4 0 0 6 -0.19
8 3 5 0 0 6 -0.368
7 2 5 0 0 4 -0.494
7 1 6 0 0 2 -0.623

RCB gained confidence after Warner's dismissal and their bowlers contained the 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.

Vijay Shankar (3) and Jason Holder (4) too struggled. Rashid Khan injected some hope in the SRH camp smashing 18 off nine balls before he was run out in the final over.

SRH players celebrate the fall of a wicket. Photo: Twitter/IPL

Earlier, SRH bowlers, led by West Indian all-rounder Jason Holder (3/30) and star spinner Rashid (2/18), put up 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) providing valuable contribution.

Virat Kohli
RCB skipper Virat Kohli made 33. Photo: Twitter/IPL

RCB were off to a decent start with 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) spelled the end of Padikkal, who had returned after recovering from COVID-19.

Shahbaz was the next to depart, leaving RCB at 47/2.

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, with Kohli joining the party with a boundary.

The two stitched a 44-run partnership before Holder got rid of the RCB skipper as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.

With AB de Villiers (1) in the middle, SRH captain David Warner introduced spin once again, bringing on Rashid, and the move immediately paid dividends. The dangerous South African slapped the ball straight to Warner at covers with the slow nature of the Chepauk track coming to the fore once again.

The Afghan spinner struck once again, getting rid of Washington Sundar (8). With Dan Christian also gone, Maxwell smashed three fours and a maximum in the last three overs.

Former champions SRH had lost their opening match to Kolkata Knight Riders while RCB beat Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener. 

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