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Maxwell’s red-hot form and highest score in Sharjah powers RCB to the playoffs

Last updated on 03 Oct 2021 | 07:08 PM
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Maxwell’s red-hot form and highest score in Sharjah powers RCB to the playoffs

Here are some noteworthy stats from Match 48 of the IPL 2021 between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Punjab Kings in Sharjah.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore edged past the Punjab Kings by six runs in a thrilling encounter in Match 48 of the Indian Premier League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The win also propelled the Virat Kohli led outfit to 16 points and secured their place in the playoffs in this edition of the competition.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal started the innings by forging a vital 68-run partnership for the first wicket. However, the formidable batting unit endured a middle-order collapse as Moises Henriques picked up three vital scalps to derail the innings. A 73-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers guided the team to 164/7 in the first innings. En route to this fighting total, Maxwell notched up his third successive half-century (57 off 33) to give the team much-needed impetus in the back end of the innings. 

In reply, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal started the innings in a commanding fashion with a 91-run partnership for the opening wicket. However, the wicket of Rahul in the 11th over dented the side as the inexperienced middle order crumbled under pressure. Despite Aiden Markram and Shahrukh Khan scoring quickfire runs down the order, Punjab fell short by six runs. Here are some of the notable stats from the game. 

Maxwell's red-hot form continues

In the 2021 edition of the IPL, the performance of Maxwell has been one of the highlights in the impressive campaign of RCB. With 407 runs in 11 innings, including five half-centuries, the right-handed batter is the leading run-scorer for the franchise. The 32-year old set foot in Sharjah, riding high on confidence with back-to-back 50+ scores. He extended his run off 50+ scores against PBKS and scored his third successive half-century. This is only the second time in Maxwell's IPL career that he has scored three consecutive half-centuries. In the 2014 edition of the IPL, he had scored 95 against the Chennai Super Kings, 89 against the Rajasthan Royals and 95 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Henriques stifles RCB in the middle overs

The Australian all-rounder, making a comeback in the playing XI of the Punjab side, was the standout bowler for them as he picked up three crucial wickets in the middle overs. The medium-pacer scalped the prized wicket of Kohli on the fourth ball of the 10th over and followed it up with the dismissal of Dan Christian the next delivery. In his next over, he removed a well set Padikkal and gave away 12 runs in his four-over spell. He didn’t concede a single boundary in his four-over spell, which was the biggest highlight. The last time a Punjab pacer bowled a four-over spell without conceding a boundary in an innings was in 2014 against the same opposition and Rishi Dhawan was the bowler.

Rahul joins an elite list

In a batting unit that has been struggling consistently, Rahul has been the odd man out among the Punjab batmen. It has been four years since he made his move to Punjab and every year, he has been the golden boy for them. In IPL 2021, en route to his knock of 39 against RCB, Rahul registered yet another season of 500+ runs. This was his fourth and all four have come in succession. No other Indian batsman has scored 500+ runs for more than two successive years. Overall, only David Warner has achieved this feat for six consecutive seasons from 2014 till 2020. In addition, Rahul hit a century of sixes as a wicket-keeper in IPL. Only three other wicket-keepers have achieved this feat and MS Dhoni leads the list with 213 sixes.   

Highest score in Sharjah 

After eight consecutive innings without a 150+ total, Sharjah finally witnessed one in Match 48. Yes! This is the same Sharjah that had been a happy hunting ground for all the batsmen last season. On a slow pitch, RCB posted 164/7 in their first innings. This went on to be the highest total at this venue in the last ten matches and the highest of this season as well. In reply, Punjab came close with 158/7, which is the second-highest total.

Rahul's scintillating form against RCB

Prior to this match, Rahul had scores of 91* in the reverse leg (2021) and 61* and 132* in last year’s league matches against RCB. A total of 284 runs without being dismissed. Before his dismissal, he had amassed another 39 runs against the Bangalore franchise. Between the two dismissals from 2019 to 2021, Rahul had racked up 323 runs against RCB, which is the most for a batsman against a team in IPL between two dismissals.

RCB's dismal performance in the powerplay

The bowling unit of the RCB has struggled to create inroads in the opposition line-up in the second phase of the IPL at the United Arab Emirates. In the five innings played thus far in this edition, Bangalore have failed to pick up a wicket in the powerplay. The fans of RCB would not want to look at this list of most consecutive innings without a wicket in the powerplay as Bangalore features thrice. In the inaugural season, the team encountered a similar run by going wicketless in the field restrictions for five consecutive innings. These are the joint most successive innings for a bowling team without a wicket in the powerplay in IPL.

Most 50+ partnerships in defeatIn recent times, the two Karnataka boys – Mayank and Rahul – playing for the Punjab franchise have been the most prolific opening pair in IPL. In a matter of just 23 innings, the duo has 1317 runs at an average of 57.3 and 11 partnerships of over 50 that also includes four century partnerships. However, they carry the tag of being the “unlucky pair”. All their four century partnerships have ended in losing cause, including another four half-century partnerships. Overall, out of the 11 partnerships of over 50, eight of those have ended up in the losing cause. 

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