Virat Kohli's RCB beat Hyderabad to go top of the IPL table
In an encouraging start to the new season, the Royal Challengers Bangalore have now recorded their second successive win
Virat Kohli and the Royal Challengers Bangalore have never lifted the Indian Premier League trophy. Going by their start to the 2021 season, one wonders if this could finally be their year.
On Wednesday night, Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore edged out the Sunrisers Hyderabad by six runs for their second successive victory of this Indian Premier League season.
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Hyderabad, who lost their opener of the Twenty20 tournament on Sunday, faltered in their chase of 150 to finish on 143-9 despite a valiant 54 by skipper David Warner in Chennai.
Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed struck three times in one over to make Hyderabad slip from 115-2 to 116-5. Pace bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel took two wickets each as Bangalore took top spot in the eight-team table.
Glenn Maxwell top-scored with 59 - his first IPL fifty since 2016 - in Bangalore's 149-8 after being put into bat. "For us Maxi gave us that momentum and got us closer to 150," Kohli said of his star player, who was bought by Bangalore for $1.95m in the February auctions.
He added: "To be very honest, we're not over-excited with victories. It's a long tournament and you have to be professional with your job." Kohli made 33 off 29 deliveries and put on a key third-wicket partnership of 44 with Maxwell.
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Maxwell, batting at number four, stood firm after Kohli's departure and smashed five fours and three sixes in his 41-ball knock. "To have batters around me gives me time to settle in and play with freedom - similar to the role I play at the Australian team," said the 32-year-old Maxwell.
On playing for RCB, Maxwell said: "Having those guys behind me is a nice little luxury. It's my fourth IPL team and there's pressure on me to turn up and make my impact."
West Indies pace bowler Jason Holder made the XI for Hyderabad and claimed three wickets while Afghanistan spin ace Rashid Khan returned figures of 2-18.
The left-handed Warner helped Hyderabad start strongly with his 37-ball knock but he fell to New Zealand quick Kyle Jamieson and the wheels came off the chase.
Rajasthan Royals take on the Delhi Capitals in Mumbai on Thursday. In their next match, the Royal Challengers Bangalore will face the Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.