IPL

Harshal completes the job for RCB after Maxwell and Du Plessis rattle Royals

By Sports Desk April 23, 2023

Harshal Patel showed composure at the death as Royal Challengers Bangalore sealed a nerve-jangling seven-run win against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

The experienced seamer was handed the ball for the final over as Rajasthan needed 20 runs for victory, and despite conceding 10 runs from the first three deliveries, Harshal then applied the brakes, dismissing Ravichandran Ashwin on the way to completing figures of 3-32.

RCB lost Virat Kohli to a first-ball duck as the match began, pinned lbw by Trent Boult, but it got better for them. They totted up 189-9 to set a testing target, with their innings propped up by the twin pillars of Faf du Plessis (62) and Glenn Maxwell (77). Du Plessis and Maxwell collaborated for the highest third-wicket partnership for RCB in the IPL, putting on 127 runs.

Both thrashed the ball around with gusto, probably wondering why nobody else was following suit as Dinesh Karthik, who made 16, was the only other home player to reach double figures.

Mohammed Siraj then bowled Jos Buttler for a duck in the first over of Rajasthan's reply. A second-wicket stand of 98 between Yashasvi Jaiswal (47) and Devdutt Padikkal (52) looked to have tilted the match Rajasthan's way, but the end of that alliance heralded a slowing of the run rate.

Captain Sanju Samson fell for 22 and Rajasthan needed 61 from the final four overs, with their task made all the more difficult when Shimron Hetmyer was brilliantly run out by Suyash Prabhudessai.

Dhruv Jurel (34no) went on the attack and the Royals required 20 from the last set of six, which soon became 10 runs from three balls, but then Ashwin holed out to deep midwicket to give Harshal his third wicket, and a pair of singles from the next two balls left Rajasthan short.

Royals rolled over

This defeat at M Chinnaswamy Stadium means Rajasthan, who led the IPL at the start of the day, have followed a run of three wins with back-to-back defeats, having also lost last time out against Lucknow Super Giants. Home hero Harshal was introduced to this contest as an impact substitute for Du Plessis, having been unable to bat because of a finger injury, and he made his mark in grand style by removing Jaiswal and Samson before completing the job.

Maxwell and Du Plessis dominate

Maxwell's third fifty-plus score of this IPL season was the pivotal performance, with his 77 runs coming in just 44 balls. His previous two fifties came in losing causes, so this will have come as sweet relief. Du Plessis is enjoying a stunning campaign and showed his pedigree again, extending his lead in the list of the IPL's top run-scorers with his fifth half-century of the 2023 tournament, moving to 405 from seven innings.

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