Sharjah in Dubai: Last ball takes home RCB maximum against Capitals, they were punished for poor fielding

Need six runs. One ball left. Avesh Khan went for a yorker, but sprayed it wide towards the legs. Then came the full toss and Shreekar Bharat hit it into the night sky. For a moment, it was not clear whether it was only height but not distance but Royal Challengers Bangalore clearly marked the boundary to trigger the celebrations in the dugout.

In fact, the ball in front of Wide proved to be crucial in its own way. Bharat drove towards the long-on and settled for a single. Glenn Maxwell not only realized that Akshar Patel was dining out, but also realized the importance of that run. That single means Bangalore need six for the last ball and if Maxwell retains the strike with just one single, they need seven. And who knows, without the pressure to prevent a game-winning six, Khan may not be wide of the next ball. So, Maxwell asked Bharat to come back on strike – and boy! He got the chance in style.

Until that wide and full toss, Khan took his heart out. Just like Anrich Nortz did before him. Nortje openers Devdut Padikkal (caught again for another vicious ramp on short ball) and Virat Kohli bowled very hard in the 19th over to chase. Bangalore needed 19 runs from two overs, and Nortje gave up just four to open the game wide in the last over. Until India decides to seize the moment.

Bharat Miandad does

Bharat eased the pressure of the first wicket and allowed Maxwell its freedom. Whenever Patel arrives, Bharat is waiting for him. Or seemed. When the left-arm spinner came in the six and four and middle overs in the powerplay, Bharat repeated the dose again. He charged the track, swept quick arm-balls and crashed on the covers to put pressure on the spinner. And when Maxwell began to get very tired and sweaty in the moisture, Bharat captured the mantle.

The shot that proved he was facing the challenge came in the 17th over. When he needed 39 off 21 balls, he pulled Kagiso Rabada superbly over the midwicket. This not only gave him six runs, but also suggested to Maxwell that he did not need to do all the heavy lifting.

Maxwell shone again

Within two seasons he and the world finally admitted that he was suffering from depression and sought medical help, Maxwell 2.0 was running as smoothly as he thought. For the past few years, he has been criticized for not matching his payouts to his performances in the IPL. But he repaid the confidence shown by the RCB this year and was the main reason they qualified for the playoffs.

Greasy Delhi

If only Delhi had two easy chances given by Maxwell Patel in the 14th over, the match would not have reached the last over even though all the options were open. With 80 runs required from seven overs, the Aussies struggled against the left-arm spinner. First, Shreyas Iyer dropped the first ball to Sipter at deep midwicket. After Maxwell unleashed a reverse-sweep and switch-hit, he made a top sweep only to drop Ashwin at the short-third man. Maxwell became a slug and Bharat changed his route to reduce the required run rate before making the final touches.



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