IPL2021: M-48 || Bangalore Vs Punjab — Royal Challengers Through To The Playoffs !!

Royal Challengers Bangalore Wins By 06 Runs & Through To The Playoffs !!

In the must win match of “Indian Premier League”, Kings were demolished by the Royal Challengers Bangalore in another nail-biter & qualifies for the “Playoffs” for the two consecutive years. The red army sealed the third spot in the playoffs on the points table. With this win Challengers have an opportunity, to get up in the top two spots of the league as well.

On the flip side, with this massive loss Punjab Kings are out of the race of playoffs. Technically, they can qualify but for that Kings depends on three other teams to loose consistently which is a rare possibility. But,the red hot form of “Red Army” is through to the playoffs, that’s the confirmation from this match.

Team Changes: →

Royal Challengers Bangalore: (RCB)

Royal Challengers Bangalore made couple of changes to the team for this match. Both the changes took place in the bowling department — indian left-arm spinner “Shahbaz Ahmed” & overseas speedster- “George Garton” made it to the playing eleven. Actually, why these two changes been made is still a question, particularly when team is doing good & on a winning streak.

Punjab Kings: → (PBKS)

Punjab Kings- a team who made 29 changes in their 12 games, is not stopping soon. In this match also, Kings made three changes. “Sarfaraz Khan, Moises Henriques” makes it to the playing eleven & Kings tally of changing players passed the mark of 30 — that’s crazy !! How can a team keep changing the players till the last. We won’t be surprised, if Kings made more changes in their last game of this season.

Red Army Took-Off…..Maxwell ~ The Game Changer

Virat Kohli of Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss & has no hesitation in batting first. Red army had only one objective in mind , with which they were playing this contest — that’s “Qualification in Playoffs”. Skipper Kohli alongwith Devdutt Paddikal commenced the Bangalore innings in style — “Fearless, Aggressive & Bold”. Paddikal took the role of an aggressor & we saw the ball was flying in all corners of the ground. Soon, Virat Kohli also joined the party & red army took-off.

Kings went wicket-less in the power-play & had no success in first nine overs of the innings. Then, the aussie all-rounder — “Moises Henriques” made a double strike. On two consecutive deliveries, he picked the big wickets of skipper Kohli & Dan Christian. Yes, that’s correct — Christian up the order was sent up the order to produce some quick runs,but failed to deliver. Kings were back in the game. Challengers made an impulsive change in the batting order & we saw — “Dan Christian” at number three,not “Srikar Bharat’ who was doing so well. Still it’s hard to understand, why ?

Now, another super-striker of red army arrives to the crease — that’s Glenn Maxwell. In company of Padikkal, Maxwell played a sensible knock & was rotating the strike. The left hand-right hand combination was creating more problems for Kings. Both the batsmen played sensibly until Padikkal(40) nicked a beauty from Henriques. The change Kings made, paid-off. Henriques had three big ones, to his name.Maxwell was set for the big one & in the company of — “A.B.Deviliers”, he switched the gears in no time. Maxwell was playing in top gear & anything hitting the bat of maxwell was touching down the boundary ropes.

Deviliers, read the situation very well & gave as much as strike to Maxwell. Runs were flowing & now it was a turn of Deviliers to hit some big ones. After hitting two flat sixes & a boundary, Deviliers was “Run-Out”, in a very tricky manner. Courtesy of Sarfaraz Khan — well,it seems to be a fluke !!Then, there was some real drama. In the very last over red army loose another three wickets & it stemmed the flow of runs. Still,on a sluggish pitch of Sharjah — Royal Challengers Bangalore puts a match-winning score of 164 runs on board. Moises Henriques & Shami picked were the pick of the bowlers for Kings & picked three wickets each. RCB — 164/7 (20.0 Overs)

Kings Counter Attacked….But Middle Order Failed To Deliver

In this penultimate — “Do Or Die” match, Kings were heavily dependent on their openers. Skipper K.L.Rahul & Mayank Agarwal, these two batsmen right at the top of the order hold the key. These two gentlemen, commenced the innings exactly in the same manner of Challengers- giving the same dose of medicine. Kings had an explosive start to the innings, just what the doctor ordered for them. Bangalore’s bowlers had a real tough time & got a pounding. Till the halfway stage, Kings were in the lead, rather in the commanding position. Then came a huge moment of the match,that shifted the momentum towards red army. Skipper K.L.Rahul(39) after playing a impactful knock got out, while playing an expensive shot over fine-leg.

The nightmare of Nicholas Pooran(3) is just not getting over & it added insult to injury. Yuzvendra Chahal, the leggy spins the minds of Punjab batsmen & Bangalore kept picking the wickets.Once again, middle order collapse leads to Punjab Kings failure & built an extreme pressure on Mayank Agarwal(57). After completing another explosive half-century, he crumbled under the pressure & perished to Chahal. Sarfaraz Khan & Moises Henriques too couldn’t deliver & Punjab Kings find themselves 07 runs short of the target. Implies, Royal Challengers Bangalore is through to the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Red Army- Elated !!

Punjab Kings…… It’s a Two Men Army !!

If we see the journey of Kings, it’s only two players contributing with the bat consistently — skipper K.L.Rahul & Mayank Agarwal. These two gentlemen scoring almost 40% of runs Kings scored in this season, that tells the story. Even, when Mayank was injured, it was a one man show. When only one or two players are contributing in the team, what you can expect.

Secondly, changing players every now & then will not solve the problem. Look at the teams like — Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore. These teams also had bad days & even bad seasons — but they don’t change the players often. Kings must identify few key players & must persist with them, nurture them. Otherwise, it’s going to be the same.

We’re surprised about the think tank of Punjab Kings. What’s the thought process inside ? 31 changes in 13 games ? We can understand there are few forced changes, but not many. Still 27 change — something is really wrong there. A lot of work needs to be done !! Feels sorry once again,for a team with few of the most talented & dynamic players- but only few !! Thoroughly disappointed…with the middle order & that’s what lead to major losses in this season !!

Final Verdict: →

With this win, Royal Challengers Bangalore is pretty safe holding the third spot on the points table & no matter what, they will be there. So, RCB will look to make the most of the remaining games & must try to seize that one of the top two spots. On the flip side, it’s over for Punjab Kings in IPL-2021. There are lot many permutations & combinations, through which they can make to the playoffs, but all that is practically impossible. Kudos — to the red army for making it to playoffs & expect them to do really well in next few games. Ideally, it would be a treat to watch them in finals of IPL-2021 — that’s bare minimum !!

FINAL SCORE-LINE: →

RCB — 164/7 (20.0 Overs) || PBKS — 158/7 (20.0 Overs)

Player of The Match : — “Glenn Maxwell”

I Write: → Saksham

Follow On Instagram → @livebleedblue

Follow On Twitter → @Saksham_Korde

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Sports Content Producer, Cricket Expert, Presenter & Aspiring Cricket Commentator.

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Saksham Korde

Saksham Korde

Sports Content Producer, Cricket Expert, Presenter & Aspiring Cricket Commentator.

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