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Sharjah in Dubai: Last ball RCB take home against Capitals who are penalized for poor fielding

Six runs were needed. One ball left. Avesh Khan Goes for a yorker but sprays it down legside for wide. This was followed by a full toss and Shrikar Bharat tonked it in the night sky. For a moment, it was unclear if it was just altitude and not distance, but it landed well over the limit to celebrate at the Royal Challengers Bangalore dugout.

Actually, the ball before the wide proved to be important in itself. India had intensified a drive towards long-on and appeared to be ready for a single. He was Glen Maxwell who not only felt that Akshar Patel He was cooking it in the outfield but was also understanding the importance of that run. That single meant Bangalore would need a six off the last ball and had Maxwell kept the strike going with just one single, they would have needed seven. And who knows that without the pressure to block a six, which could have won the game, Khan would not have bowled the next ball wide. So, Maxwell urges Bharat to return on strike – and boy! Did he seize the opportunity in style.

Till that wide and full toss, Khan had kept his heart open. Just like Enrique Nortje did before him. Nortje not only dismissed the openers devdutt padikkal (Caught for the third time again on short ball for another wrong-timed ramp shot) and Virat KohliChasing the target, he bowled the 19th over. Bangalore needed 19 runs in two overs and Nortje conceded just four runs in the final over to keep the game open. Until Bharat decided to seize the moment.

Bharata does a miandadi

Bharat sensed the pressure of the opening wicket and allowed Maxwell to go for it. Whenever Patel came, Bharat was waiting for him. Or it seemed. A six and a four in the powerplay and when the left-arm spinner came in in the middle overs, Bharat repeated the dose. To keep the spinner under pressure, he charged the track, swung the arm-balls and crashed over cover. And when Maxwell was exhausted in the humidity and sweaty, Bharat took over.

The shot that proved he was up to the challenge came in the 17th over. When 39 runs were needed from 21 balls, he washed a brilliant pull-off Kagiso Rabada Over midwicket. Not only did it get him six runs but it signaled to Maxwell that he didn’t need to do all the heavy lifting.

Maxwell shines again

After two seasons when he finally admitted to himself and the world that he was suffering from depression and sought medical help, Maxwell 2.0 is going as smoothly as he could have hoped. Over the years, he has faced some criticism for his salary not matching his performance in the IPL. But they have paid off the trust shown by RCB this year and has been the main reason for qualifying for the playoffs.

Delhi with smooth palms

If only Delhi had created two relatively simple chances for Patel to be dismissed by Maxwell in the 14th over, the match would not have even reached the last over with all the options. Needing 80 runs in seven overs, the Aussies went for it against the left-arm spinner. First, Shreyas Iyer A sitter fell on the first ball at deep midwicket. Maxwell then hoisted a reverse sweep and a switch-hit, only one sweep to drop R Ashwin to short-third man. Maxwell then slowed down and swung his way to bring down the required run rate before Bharat made the final touch.

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