Thanks to a phenomenal display of batting from AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell, Royal Challengers Bangalore clinched their third win of the IPL 2021 against a feeble-spirited Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.
Virat Kohli’s men put up a mammoth total of 204 despite a sluggish start to their inning at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata showed glimpses of promise during the chase but fell 38 runs short in the end.
At one point, it seemed like the juggernaut power-hitter in Andre Russell would take KKR home, but Harshal Patel got the better of him for 31.
Bangalore had Maxwell deliver the goods in such a situation.
He kept the scoreboard ticking in the middle overs with his 28-ball fifty followed by de Villiers’ explosive batting in the death overs.
Maxwell returned to the pavilion on 79 while Mr. 360 remained unbeaten on 76 off 34 balls.
The duo has been in sublime form in this year’s tournament, which is extremely crucial to the RCB at a time when their top order has been brittle.
While Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal were seeing the ball better than anyone last year, they are yet to found their best touch this season.
Nevertheless, this is the first time in the IPL’s history that RCB have gone on to win their first three games of the season.
What an in-form de Villiers means for RCB
Any team in the IPL would love to have de Villiers on their side.
However, his relationship with Kohli and determination to soldier on and clinch their maiden title means that he is here for as long as Bangalore wants him.
He has been in a sublime nick so far which is not bad for a 37-year-old veteran who plays professional cricket for two months a year.
His last 43 runs came off only 14 balls against Kolkata as he clobbered the opposition bowlers for continuous boundaries in the death overs.
Chaos at KKR top-order
Shubman Gill spectacularly got the KKR chase underway.
But after creaming the RCB bowlers all over the park, the right-handed youngster paid the price for going full throttle as Kyle Jamieson got him caught on 21.
Rahul Tripathi had a similar cameo.
Just when he looked to corner the RCB bowlers, he threw his wicket away to Washington Sundar.
The KKR need to find their batting rhythm as soon as they could with the competition gearing ahead.
Harshal Patel got the golden touch
It might be too early to predict that Harshal Patel will end up donning the Purple Cap, but we can certainly foresee such a scene if he continues to wow the cricket world.
The 30-year-old hasn’t stopped impressing since the first game against Mumbai Indians where his fiver took RCB to victory.
His 2/17 tonight meant that the Bangalore have got themselves a death-over specialist.
Patel did not concede a single boundary in his entire quota and has been the most economical bowler in the tournament (5.75).
He also leads the bowling charts with nine wickets.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 204 for 4 (Maxwell 78, de Villiers 76*, Chakravarthy 2-39) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 166 for 8 (Russell 31, Jamieson 3-41, Harshal 2-17, Chahal 2-34) by 38 runs.