Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - RCB make stellar comeback to cruise into playoffs. RCB become the third team to make it to the playoffs this season
RCB become the third team to make it to the playoffs this season
The Royal Challengers Bangalore cruised into the playoffs with a six-run win over Punjab Kings on Sunday (October 3). They became the third team to qualify after Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals.
The 165 that RCB had set Punjab was the highest total in Sharjah this season. PBKS got a good start with a 91-run opening stand, but Yuzvendra Chahal's three-wicket spell in the middle was the game-changer as Punjab lost their way, once again, and dug a hole for themselves.
KL and Mayank started strong, but…
The pair added the highest opening partnership against RCB this season with a superb 91. Mayank took on the role of the aggressor getting to another half-century, while Rahul was happy to support him. They rotated the strike effectively and Mayank spared neither the pacers nor spinners. Rahul fell for 39 in the 11th over, but the platform was set for PBKS to finish well. However, from overs 12-17, PBKS lost four for 38 runs as RCB made a spectacular comeback.
Who turned the game around for RCB?
Chahal – with another brilliant spell.
He was used in four one-over spells and although he went wicketless in two, he had only conceded one boundary. In Chahal's third over, Nicholas Pooran miscued a tossed up delivery, copping another failure. Mayank remained key to PBKS in chase but Chahal ensured RCB clawed their way back with a double-wicket final over sending back both Mayank and Sarfraz Khan. Mayank was undone by the flight, while Sarfraz was stunned as he was squared up and bowled by a sharp leg spinner. Chahal finished with 3-29 and PBKS couldn't recover from those blows, once again conceding a chase after having been in control of it.
How did RCB start after opting to bat?
Well, as they have for most of the season. The openers did their job once again with a solid stand that fetched them 68 runs. They were fortunate to survive a number of chances, mind you, but made the most of them, albeit both Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal playing sedate knocks.
Wait… but there was some drama right?
Ravi Bishnoi's first over had two missed chances, two clean hits and two instances of the batsman being beaten. However, that wasn't as dramatic as his second. PBKS were already frustrated with the slew of missed chances, transcending into their fielding too, when Bishnoi bowled another googly to Padikkal. The opener was already having trouble reading them and attempted to reverse-heave. Rahul appealed for a caught-behind, but the on-field decision was not out. Rahul was certain there was an edge and took the review. Snicko showed a clear spike when the ball went past the glove on the way to the ‘keeper, but the TV umpire adjudged it not out, much to the annoyance of Rahul who was seen in prolonged conversations with the umpire thereafter.
Punjab Kings got back into the game…
With Moises Henriques's triple strike.
With the middle-order struggling, PBKS gave the Australian all-rounder a go and he delivered in his first over, scalping both Kohli and Daniel Christian in successive balls. He bowled the perfect cutter to Kohli that stayed low and knocked out the offstump, ending the 68-run opening stand. Christian was promoted up the order and hit out straight to backward point off a full first ball. In his next over, Henriques got Padikkal to nick one off the toe-end of his bat. Henriques finished with career-best IPL figures of 3-12.
How did RCB get back in?
Thanks to Glenn Maxwell's third successive half-century. He came in at a time when PBKS had crawled their way back into the game, strengthening their grip on proceedings on the back of Moises Henriques's strikes. He responded in the only way he knows – with a counterattack.
He slogged Harpreet Brar for two sixes in an over, one even over 95 m that landed on the road, to get going. Maxwell then picked Bishnoi's googly for back-to-back sixes as pressure mounted on the spinners. AB de Villiers was struggling at the other end, but Maxwell farmed the strike until the South African could get his eye in. Once he did, he let loose against Shami's pace for a four and a six. Maxwell brought up his fifth half-century of the tournament, this one off just 29 balls. RCB finished on 164/7 with Maxwell falling in the final over for a 33-ball 57.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 164/7 in 20 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 40, Glenn Maxwell 57; Mohammed Shami 3-39, Moises Henriques 3-12) beat Punjab Kings 158/6 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 39, Mayank Agarwal 57; Yuzvendra Chahal 3-29) by 6 runs.