IPL: Shahbaz Ahmed wrecks SRH with dream spell

Image courtesy Instagram account of Shahbaz Ahmed
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Royal Challengers Bangalore scripted a remarkable comeback to defend a modest total of 149/ 8 and defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad by six runs.

The SRH bowlers, led by Jason Holder (3/30) and Rashid Khan (2/18), bowled splendidly towards the end restrict RCB to below 150.

At one point, it looked like that RCB would cruise to a big score with the start they got.

At 91/2 in 12 overs, it looked like the RCB trio Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, both of who were batting at the crease, along with AB de Villiers would take the attack to SRH.

However, led by Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid, SRH conceded just 19 runs in the next five overs while picking five wickets.

Rashid took two wickets for seven runs in his two overs in that phase.

Some power-hitting by Glenn Maxwell (59 off 41 balls) and some lusty blows by Kyle Jamieson (12 off 9 balls) took RCB to their eventual score of 149 for eight.

Maxwell, who was the top-scorer for his team, was dismissed on the last ball of the innings.

He hit three sixes and five fours after having walked in to bat at No. 4.

Skipper Virat Kohli made his second successive score of 33 off 29 balls.

For SRH, West Indian Jason Holder, who got the prized scalps of Virat Kohli and Maxwell, was the most successful bowler with 3/30 in four overs.

Rashid, who dismissed the RCB trumpcard AB de Villiers (1 off 5 balls), finished with 2/18 in his four overs.

Warner and Pandey fight back

After losing Saha early, Warner and Pandey steadied the ship.

Wriddhiman Saha fell cheaply for but Warner (54) and Pandey (38) took SRH to 96/1.

However, once Warner was dismissed, caught by Christian off Kyle Jamieson, SRH collapsed to 123/6 in 18 overs. 

Though Pandey started slowly, he grew in confidence and looked in good touch until he swatted a slower bouncer from Kyle Jamieson straight to Harshal Patel at long-on.

Shahbaz Ahmed got three wickets in an over and was undoubtedly, RCB’s hero of the match.

When Ahmed came on to bowl only his second over, the Sunrisers were 115 for 2, with 35 needed off 24.

Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey were at the crease, but Ahmed got both of them in the same over, and then added the wicket of the big-hitting Abdul Samad too.

Earlier, Ahmed, who came in at No.3, also contributed with the bat, making a useful 14 off 10 balls.

Siraj picked two and Harshal yet again, continued his good show with the ball, picking the wickets of Nadeem and Vijay Shankar.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 149 for 8 (Maxwell 39, Kohli 33, Holder 3-30, Rashid 2-18) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 143 for 9 (Warner 54, Pandey 38, Siraj 2-25, Ahmed 3-7, Patel 2-25) by six runs