By Anmol Pundir

Royal Challengers Bangalore booked their berth for the Playoffs beating Punjab Kings by 6 runs.

This was Challengers’s 8th win of the tournament in 12 matches. Glenn Maxwell who scored 33 ball 57 was awarded player of the match, this was Maxwell’s third consecutive fifty of the tournament.

Virat Kohli winning the toss opted to bat first, as the pitch was predicted to get slower later in the match. Kohli and Padikkal added 68 runs for the first wicket before Mosrique Henriques took 2 wickets in his over. When this wasn’t enough Henriques took the third wicket for his team in his very next over. RCB which kept going well was under pressure with 3 quick wickets, but in form, Glenn Maxwell kept hitting the ball out of the park and rotated the strike with AB de Villiers. RCB posted a target of 165 in front of Punjab Kings who were eager to win to keep their run for playoffs.

Punjab Kings began their innings with two of their most reliable batters and added 91 runs for their first wickets. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal displayed some classical example of batting where both the batters took charge on the bowlers. Kings who are known to succumb to pressure in the latter part of the innings did give up when Shahbaz Ahmed and Yuzvendra Chahal’s spell took 4 wickets in 6 overs.

Yuzvendra Chahal known for his tricky bowling, trapped batters in his leg-spin and googly. He made sure the required run rate for Kings was above 10 when he finished his spell and left the job for fast bowlers.

Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, and George Garton bowled some fine lengths to keep building pressure on kings batters. Shah Rukh Khan and Markram hit some balls to boundaries to keep Punjab in the game, but all came down to 19 runs of the last 6 balls. Harshal Patel the purple holder cap was given the ball by his skipper and he kept pitching the ball on fine lengths to make sure it was 14 runs required of the last 2 balls, Henriques hit a six of the last-second ball but Challengers of Bangalore won the match by 6 runs. Royal Challengers Bangalore is now the third team to have qualified for playoffs.

Kolkata Knight Riders who want to strengthen their bid for the playoffs are facing Sunrisers
Hyderabad in Sunday’s doubleheader.

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