Harshal, Maxwell star as Bangalore beat Chennai by 13 runs

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Royal Challengers Bangalore’s players celebrate fall of a wicket during their IPL match against Chennai Super Kings at MCA Stadium in Pune on Wednesday. Courtesy: IPL website

Harshal Patel and Glenn Maxwell shared five wickets between themselves as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Chennai Super Kings by 13 runs at MCA Stadium on Wednesday.

After Maheesh Theekshana and Moeen Ali took five wickets between themselves to keep Royal Challengers Bangalore to 173/8, Bangalore’s bowling attack adopted the pace off approach successfully in restricting Chennai to 160/8 in their 20 overs.

The result means that Bangalore are now at fourth place in the points table, after snapping their three-match losing streak.

Chennai, on the other hand, will be left to rue their inability to build on a wicketless power-play and Devon Conway getting a fine 56 on a pitch which had enough assistance for spinners.

The left-handed Conway had a bright start, bringing out the conventional as well as reverse sweep for picking two fours off Shahbaz Ahmed in the opening over. With Josh Hazlewood keeping him and Ruturaj Gaikwad quiet due to his impeccable lengths, the two cracked a four each off Mohammed Siraj.

Gaikwad then went to slam Siraj for successive fours through deep mid-wicket and down the ground followed by him and Conway hitting a six each off Wanindu Hasaranga over deep mid-wicket as Chennai finished power-play at 51/0.

Just after power-play, Ahmed delivered the breakthrough for Bangalore as Gaikwad pulled off backfoot but found diving long-on running to his right. Robin Uthappa made just one run before slicing straight to backward point on a short ball from Glenn Maxwell.

Maxwell picked his second wicket of the night as he rattled Ambati Rayudu’s stumps while trying to punch.

Despite successive wickets, Conway continued to be at his belligerent best, dancing down the pitch and flicking Hasaranga for a six over deep mid-wicket. With Moeen Ali taking boundaries off Maxwell and Harshal Patel, Conway punched the latter past an outstretched extra cover and followed it with a single through mid-wicket to reach his second consecutive fifty in 33 balls.

The sweep continued to fetch runs and luck for Conway as he slog-swept hard off Maxwell and was almost caught at deep square leg before the ball went for four. But in the next over, the sweep brought Conway’s downfall, giving a simple catch to deep backward square leg off Hasaranga.

From there, slower balls kept on getting scalps for Bangalore as Ravindra Jadeja miscued the slog off Harshal Patel and was caught by cover. Patel had his second wicket of the night when he took out Moeen Ali with a wide slower ball hit loosely to extra cover, just after he was smacked over deep mid-wicket for six.

Chennai’s hopes of MS Dhoni pulling off another heroic chase ended when he pulled straight to deep mid-wicket off Hazlewood in the 19th over. Despite Dwaine Pretorius hitting a four and six before becoming Patel’s third victim and Maheesh Theekshana taking six off the pacer, Bangalore had enough to outplay Chennai easily.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 173/8 in 20 overs (Mahipal Lomror 42, Faf du Plessis 38; Maheesh Theekshana 3/27, Moeen Ali 2/28) beat Chennai Super Kings 160/8 in 20 overs (Devon Conway 56, Moeen Ali 34; Harshal Patel 3/35, Glenn Maxwell 2/22) by 13 runs.

Indo-Asian News Service

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