IPL 2021: Maxwell, Ahmed star in RCB win over Sunrisers


Spinner Shahbaz Ahmed took three wickets in an over to inspire a dramatic six-run win for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

Chasing 150 to win, Sunrisers were on course at 96-1 from 13 overs when David Warner holed out to long on for 54.

They then lost seven for 43, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey and Abdul Samad all falling to Ahmed in the 17th over. Earlier, RCB scored 149-8 with Glenn Maxwell making 59 and Virat Kohli 33.

Maxwell, who joined RCB from Kings XI Punjab for the third-highest fee in this season’s auction, scored his first half-century in the competition since 2016 and he built on a slow start that saw him score nine off 16 balls, before he and Kohli hit Shahbaz Nadeem’s final over for 22.

His 41-ball innings contained five fours and three sixes and his 27-run seventh-wicket partnership with New Zealand quick Kyle Jamieson was crucial.

In reply Warner was composed, hitting through mid-wicket and the covers regularly, as he brought up his 53rd 50-plus score in the IPL, and his 83-run stand with Pandey put Sunrisers in control.

However when he was dismissed, the game changed and followed an almost identical pattern to Kolkata Knight Riders’ defeat by Mumbai Indians on Tuesday and previous games at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai this season.

Games are being played at fewer grounds this season, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and the pitch was two-paced making it more difficult as the game progressed.

After Ahmed’s three-wicket over, Harshal Patel took two wickets while Mohammed Siraj took 2-25, including West Indies captain Jason Holder.

Rashid Khan almost sparked a recovery with a nine-ball 17 and Sunrisers needed only eight from the final four balls – but when he was run out RCB had done enough to continue their 100% record in this year’s competition, and go top of the table. (BBC Sport)

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