AB De Villiers and Glenn Maxwell put on a batting masterclass in Chennai as Royal Challengers Bangalore recovered from an early set back and posted a massive 204/4 in their 20 overs against Kolkata Knight Riders.
RCB, who are looking for their third win in as many games, had AB de Villiers teeing off in the death overs as they smashed 56 runs in the last 3 overs.
Virat Kohli finally won a toss against Eoin Morgan and opted to bat in the first day game of IPL 2021 in Chennai.
But RCB’s start was far from ideal as Kohli (5) himself was the first to depart in the 2nd over when Nitish Rana took a fantastic catch at point off Varun Chakravarthy. The Karnataka man cleaned up Rajat Patidar (1) before the over ended, leaving RCB in a spot of bother at 9/2.
Even as Glenn Maxwell attacking from the get-go, starting with a rasping cut off Shakib Al Hasan, RCB opener Devdutt Padikkal kept the score board moving at the other end.
Maxwell did what he does best – play in a free scoring manner, cutting, pulling, reverse-sweeping with authority, finishing the powerplay with a 17 run over against Shakib.
Maxwell was particularly severe on the KKR spinners and along with Padikkal put on an 86-run stand in 9.1 overs, putting the pressure right back on Morgan and KKR.
The Australian completed his 50 off 28 deliveries, registering back-to-back fifties for the first time since 2014.
Padikkal however could not make the start count and was dismissed by his Karnataka teammate Prasidh Krishna for 25.
Maxwell, who was by now playing the kind of shots that wouldn’t be uncommon on a tennis court, was joined by AB de Villiers, who demolished KKR’s bowling in Sharjah last year.
The South African took a cautious approach as the Australian wasn’t showing any signs of slowing down at the other end.
ABD broke the shackles in the 15th over against Chakravarthy and then attacked Krishna too, smashing them for a couple of boundaries each. Maxwell added yet another maximum when he faced Chakravarthy as he marched on towards his first IPL century.
There would be no century for the Australian, who was dismissed on in the 17th over by Pat Cummins for a sensational 78 off 48 deliveries. His knock was laced with 9 fours and 3 sixes, putting RCB in a good position after the early wickets.
Maxwell and ABD put on 53 runs in just under 7 overs.
AB wasn’t about to slow down of course and took the attack to KKR’s bowling hero against Mumbai Indians – Andre Russell, smashing him for 17 runs in the 18th over.
Off the next over, AB completed his 50 of 27 deliveries after Kyle Jamieson got in the act with a couple of big hits too.
AB then went after Russell again, smashing him over his head for a six to start the penultimate over and then finished the innings with a similar stroke for a boundary as RCB crossed 200 and ABD remained unbeaten on 76.
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