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Top Performer: Ahmed spins it RCB's way

By NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
April 15, 2021 07:06 IST
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Shahbaz Ahmed celebrates the wicket of Abdul Samad

IMAGE: Shahbaz Ahmed celebrates Abdul Samad's wicket. Photograph: PTI/Sportzpics
 

A game of T20 cricket can swing like a pendulum. A team can be on top one moment and the very next lose the plot.

This was just how things panned out when SunRisers Hyderabad took on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on Wednesday.

While SunRisers dominated most of the game, it was RCB that eventually ran home to victory.

RCB got to a decent 149 for 8 in their 20 overs on the back of Glenn Maxwell's half-century.

With David Warner (54) and later Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey playing steadily while finding the boundaries, the finish line was within touching distance for SRH.

Just when you thought Warner was the man of the match out comes a surprise package from RCB.

Shahbaz Ahmed, who bowled just one over in RCB's IPL opener against Mumbai Indians last Friday and was clobbered for 14 runs, was brought in as the sixth bowler after fellow spinners Washington Sundar and Yuvendra Chahal were bleeding runs off the bats of Warner, Bairstow and Pandey.

Coming in to bowl the 15th over, Ahmed's first over went for six runs -- runs coming in singles and twos.

After Chahal gave 7 off the next over, Virat Kohli decided to persist with Ahmed, and he made his captain proud and how!

Ahmed first took out Bairstow, then off the next ball he had Pandey chasing a wide one and caught at short third man before he had Abdul Samad caught and bowled for a duck.

All three batsmen fell to cross-batted shots as lack of runs created panic and error of judgement in shot selection.

Hereon, it was just a matter of time before the nervous SunRisers would go down, losing wickets every other over and eventually falling short by 6 runs.

The tragedy and the drama that is T20 cricket and the hero of this one being Shahbaz Ahmed, who finished with super impressive figures of 3 for 7 off his 2 overs.

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NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
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Indian Premier League - 2021

Indian Premier League - 2021