KS Bharat held his nerve and cranked a last-ball six as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) edged out Delhi Capitals (DC) in Match 56 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Dubai on Friday.
Needing 165 runs to win, RCB rode on KS Bharat’s 78* off 52 and Glenn Maxwell’s 33-ball 51* and sealed a seven-wicket win in the final league-stage encounter.
RCB did not enjoy a great start as Anrich Nortje got Devdutt Padikkal out in the first over and then followed it up with a big wicket of Virat Kohli in the third over, reducing RCB to 6/2.
RCB needed a rebuilding job and that’s what KS Bharat and AB de Villiers did. The two added a solid 49-run stand to push RCB past fifty. However, Axar Patel dismissed AB de Villiers in the 10th over for 26.
Maxwell then joined Bharat in the middle and the pair kept the scorecard ticking. While DC had a few chances to dismiss Maxwell, they could not make the most of those opportunities and Maxwell cashed in.
The right-hander got two reprieves in the 14th over, which also saw him hit two fours before he and Bharat completed a vital fifty-run stand, helping RCB cross the three figures in the 15th over.
In the next over, the RCB wicketkeeper-batsman brought up his maiden IPL fifty. The pair continued its good work with the bat as RCB moved to 146/3 after 18 overs, needing 19 runs from the final two overs to seal a win.
Nortje then bowled a brilliant 4-run penultimate over, meaning RCB had to score 15 runs in the final over.
Maxwell hit six runs off the first balls of the last over – bowled by Avesh Khan – and in that process brought up his sixth fifty of the season. However, RCB could only 3 runs off the next 3 legitimate deliveries.
With RCB needing 6 runs off the last legitimate delivery, Avesh bowled a wide ball. KS Bharat then kept his calm and dispatched a six off the final and helped RCB seal a stunning win in Dubai.
Earlier, unchanged RCB elected to bowl against DC, who also retained the same playing XI which took the field in the last game.
DC made a solid start, courtesy the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. The two cashed in on every scoring opportunity as DC posted 55 runs on the board in the powerplay.
The duo added 33 runs in the next four overs and took DC to 88/0 at the halfway stage of their innings.
However, RCB broke the partnership as Harshal Patel dismissed Dhawan for 43 in the 11th over. Yuzvendra Chahal and Dan Christian struck in the next two overs. While Chahal got Shaw out for 48, Christian had the better of Rishabh Pant.
Shreyas Iyer and Shimron Hetmyer then helped DC cross the 140-run mark before the right-hander got out for 18 off Mohammed Siraj in the 18th over. Hetmyer, meanwhile, scored a brisk 29 off 22 balls as DC posted 164/5 on the board.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 166/3 (KS Bharat 78*, Glenn Maxwell 51*; Anrich Nortje 2/24) beat Delhi Capitals 164/5 (Prithvi Shaw 48, Shikhar Dhawan 43; Mohammed Siraj 2/25) by 7 wickets.