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Turning Point: Maxwell is RCB's saviour

By HARISH KOTIAN
April 19, 2021 07:46 IST
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IMAGE: Glenn Maxwell plays the switch hit off Varun Chakravarthy for a six. Photograph: BCCI
 

Glenn Maxwell hit his second half-century in a row to power Royal Challengers Bangalore to their best-ever start in the IPL, as they outclassed Kolkata Knight Riders by 38 runs to register their third straight win, in Chennai on Sunday.

Maxwell has in the past copped a lot of criticism for his inconsistent showing in the IPL, but this season he seems to have turned the corner.

Bought by RCB for a whopping Rs 14.25 crore (Rs 142.5 million) at the IPL auction in February, he is proving to be worth every rupee with his a consistent showing with the bat.

Against KKR, it was Maxwell who came to RCB's rescue after they were reeling following a couple of early wickets.

Spinner Varun Chakravarthy rocked RCB with the wickets of Virat Kohli (5) and Rajat Patidar in his first over to leave them reeling at 9/2.

With Devdutt Padikkal also not in the best of form in the IPL so far, the onus was left on the Australian to take his team out of trouble.

Maxwell got going as he cut Shakib Al Hasan for a four in the fourth over but got a streaky boundary in the next over when he inside-edged compatriot Pat Cummins.

Shakib's slow left-arm pace proved easy pickings for Maxwell, who pulled the spinner for a six and then hit his trademark reverse sweep for a four to rally RCB to 45/2 in six overs, 33 coming from the last three.

Maxwell made most of the free hit delivery from Chakravarthy, pulling the spinner for a six over midwicket and then clipped him for a four next ball as RCB continued their good progress in the middle overs.

Cummins also suffered as Maxwell smashed him for a four over the covers before he raced to his fifty from 28 balls.

He brought RCB back in the contest with his 86-run third wicket stand with Padikkal, who played second fiddle with a sedate 25 from 28 balls.

It was attack from both ends as A B de Villiers started off positively, while Maxwell continued his attack from the other end. He produced another sensational shot, switch-hitting Chakravarthy for a six over the off-side.

He perished in the 17th over, caught at short fine leg after top edging the pull off Cummins after a superb innings of 78 from 49 balls, hitting nine fours and three sixes, but had done enough to take his team towards safety after a shaky start.

De Villiers took over proceedings with a quickfire fifty in the final few overs to power RCB to a huge 204/4 in their 20 overs, a target which proved to be a road too far for KKR's batsmen on a pitch not easy for batsmen.

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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021