England wear special jersey to support 'Red for Ruth' day at Lord's
13 Aug 2021
The Royal Challengers Bangalore fans had a lot to cheer about during the first leg of the IPL 2021 after the side won five of the seven matches they featured in before the tournament was suspended indefinitely owing to Covid-19.
The RCB franchise made some tactical moves during the auctions earlier this year and roped in Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell in the team which worked wonders for them.
Maxwell’s inclusion was directed towards strengthening the middle-order and the aggressive right-handed batter has been able to do that quite successfully along with AB de Villiers so far in the competition.
The Bangalore-based franchise had a brilliant start to the campaign winning their first four matches. The IPL 2021 has now moved to the UAE after there were Covid-19 cases within the franchises and the competition had to be suspended midway.
Nevertheless, the cricket fans got a sigh of relief when the BCCI eventually announced that the remaining fixtures will be played in UAE.
But before we begin the second leg, let’s take a look at Bangalore’s performance in the first half.
RCB vs Mumbai Indians
The Royal Challengers Bangalore started off the campaign with a win against the defending champions Mumbai Indians in Chennai. Batting first, MI rode on Chris Lynn’s 49 off 35 and managed to put 159/9 in 20 overs on the board. Harshal Patel was the pick of the bowlers for RCB after he scalped a fifer at the cost of just 27 runs in 4 overs.
In reply, RCB were off to a decent start as Washington Sundar and captain Virat Kohli put on 36 runs for the first wicket but a couple of quick wickets pushed them to the backfoot. Kohli was then joined by Glenn Maxwell in the middle and the duo steadied the ship for the side with a 52-run stand for the third wicket.
Kohli was eventually undone by Jasprit Bumrah after getting trapped in front of the stumps for 33 off 29.
Maxwell departed soon for 39 off 28 and RCB lost a few wickets in quick succession but it was AB de Villiers who took on the onus on himself and provided the much needed resistance to the team.
The right-hander notched up a 27-ball 48 when the team needed two to win in two deliveries. The Bangalore based franchise eventually got over the line in the final delivery of the match.
RCB vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
RCB locked horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad in their second match of the tournament in Chennai and it was Bangalore's bowling unit that won the game for them. Batting first, the Virat Kohli-led side was restricted to 149/8 in 20 overs. Glenn Maxwell was the star of the showing smashing 59 of 41 deliveries to give RCB the much-needed impetus. His knock was studded with three gargantuan sixes.
For SRH, Jason Holder scalped a three-wicket haul that included the important wickets of Virat Kohli and Maxwell while Rashid Khan returned with an economical spell as he had two wickets to his name at the cost of just 18 runs in 4 overs.
SRH were in control for the majority of the run-chase despite losing an early wicket as captain David Warner and Manish Pandey stitched a stand of 83 runs for the second wicket but Warner’s departure for 54 started the collapse which saw SRH losing wickets at regular intervals getting reduced to 130/7 before finishing the match on 142/7.
The game-changing moment turned out to be a single over from left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed where he bagged three crucial wickets to break SRH's backbone. It was a brave call by Virat Kohli to hand over the ball to Shahbaz. With the ball turning, the Bengal all-rounder accounted for the wickets of Manish Pandey, Jonny Bairstow and Abdul Samad to hand RCB an unlikely 6 runs victory.
RCB vs Kolkata Knight Riders
The clash against Kolkata Knight Riders was all about Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers’ masterclass with the bat. RCB had lost a couple of early wickets while batting first and had Maxwell and Devdutt Padikkal out in the middle in Chennai.
The left-right batting duo steadied the ship for the side with a partnership of 86 runs for the third wicket. Padikkal didn't look at his usual best but still gave Maxwell ample support before his dismissal on 25.
Maxwell was then joined by ABD and the two then put 53 runs for the fourth wicket before the Australian batsman departed for a 49-ball 78. But what unveiled next was simply an instance of ABD’s talent and ability.
He took on the KKR bowling attack by the scruff of the neck and hammered them all around the park to help RCB post 204/4 in 20 overs. De Villiers himself remained unbeaten at 76 off 34 deliveries.
Later, the KKR top-order and middle-order did chip in with some runs but none of the batsmen was able to capitalise on the starts that they got and they were restricted to 166/8 losing the match by 38 runs.
Kyle Jamieson picked up three wickets for RCB but was hit for 41 runs during the course while Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal scalped a couple of wickets apiece.
RCB vs Rajasthan Royals
Opener Devdutt Padikkal showed why he is rated so high at such a young age in this encounter against Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai. Put into bat Rajasthan posted a challenging 177 on the board courtesy some late flurry from Shivam Dube, Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia after the top order faltered big time but the score proved to be way too less in front of an incredible knock from Padikkal.
The young southpaw along with his Virat Kohli stitched an opening and unbeaten stand of 181 runs to seal a win for the side. The left-handed opener struck his first IPL hundred during the course that included six maximums and 11 fours. Kohli also remained unbeaten at 72 off 47.
Earlier, RR didn’t really have a good start and lost 4 wickets for just 43 runs in the 8th over before the middle-order made some valuable contribution and helped the side put a good total on the board.
Shivam Dube top-scored with a 32-ball 46 while Riyan Parag chipped in with 25 off 16. Rahul Tewatia was also among some runs as he scored 40 in just 23 balls as RR eventually got to 177/9 in 20 overs.
Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel picked up three wickets each for RCB.
RCB vs Chennai Super Kings
The Royal Challengers Bangalore’s winning streak in the competition was broken when they met Chennai Super Kings in Mumbai.
“One guy completely beat us,” Kohli said about Ravindra Jadeja during the post-match presentation and the RCB skipper was thoroughly correct as Jadeja first chipped in with a brisk 62* off 28 that included five sixes and then dismissed three batsmen at the cost of just 13 runs in 4 overs.
The left-hander’s scalps included the prized wickets of Maxwell and ABD. Apart from this, he was also involved in Daniel Christian’s runout.
Riding on Jadeja’s onslaught with the bat and Faf du Plessis’ half-century, CSK posted 191/4 in 20 overs first and then restricted RCB to 122/9, courtesy a fine piece of bowling and fielding from Jadeja to win the match by 69 runs.
RCB vs Delhi Capitals
This encounter between RCB and Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad will go down as the most fascinating clashes in the history of IPL. DC needed 10 off the last two deliveries while chasing 172 in 20 overs with Pant at the striker’s end and Siraj with the ball in his hands.
The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman hit a boundary on the penultimate ball to bring down the equation to 6 required off 1.
Siraj then bowled a wide Yorker and Pant couldn’t do much about it and only managed to take it on the full and slice it for a four to the deep point. DC lost the match by just one run and left Pant and his batting partner Shimron Hetmyer totally devastated.
Earlier, after batting first, RCB rode on yet another brilliant knock for AB de Villiers to post 171/5 in 20 overs after the right-hander scored 75* off 42.
The RCB bowlers then created some problems for the DC batsmen reducing them to 92/4 when Pant was joined by Hetmyer in the middle. The two left-handers put on 78 runs for the fifth wicket and also notched up individual fifties but failed to take the team over the line.
RCB vs Punjab Kings
The Punjab Kings have some former RCB players in their line up which also includes their captain KL Rahul and the aggressive batsman Chris Gayle. But this game in Ahmedabad was all about Harpreet Brar and his spin bowling.
The left-handed spinner rattled the RCB batting line-up, picking up three wickets in the innings. Brar’s three dismissals included the scalps of captain Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers.
It was probably the finest day at the work for the spinner where he not just picked up wickets but ripped through the strong batting line up of the Bangalore side. Brar not just performed well with the ball but made a valuable contribution with the bat as well earlier in the day.
Batting first Punjab Kings started off well despite an early fall of wicket as Rahul and Gayle put 80 runs for the second wicket but Gayle’s departure saw a fall of wickets at regular succession and reduced Punjab to 118/5.
The skipper was then joined by Brar and the two batsmen scored a partnership of 61 runs. Rahul remained unbeaten at 91 off 57 while Harpreet scored 25 off 17 to take the total to 179/5 in 20 overs. Later, Punjab restricted Bangalore at 145/8 in 20 overs to win the match by 34 runs.
The franchise has made some changes in the line up. While a few players will not be available for the remainder of the season, there have been some new recruitments in the squad.
Adam Zampa, Daniel Sams, Finn Allen, Scott Kuggeleijn, Kane Richardson and Washington Sundar are the players unavailable for the second leg of the IPL 2021.
“Finn Allen and Scott Kuggeleijn have both been selected for New Zealand tours, and they won’t be part of RCB. Kane Richardson has made himself unavailable, as has Daniel Sams,” Mike Hesson, RCB’s Director of Cricket Operations and now head coach, announced at a press conference earlier.
Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Tim David, George Garton and Akash Deep have been included in the squad.
“We have replaced Adam Zampa with Wanindu Hasaranga,” Hesson had said.
All-rounder Sundar would be missing the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 due to a finger injury. "Royal Challengers Bangalore's all-rounder Washington Sundar has been ruled out of the remainder of the Vivo IPL 2021 due to an impending finger injury," RCB said in a statement.
RCB who are sitting at number three position in the points table at the moment will now resume the tournament against KKR in Abu Dhabi on September 20, 2021.