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Shahbaz Ahmed makes SRH bite the dust

All-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed channeled his best bowling form on Thursday night to help RCB win their second consecutive contest of the Indian Premier League 2021 against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The Sunrisers fell short by six runs with nine wickets lost as RCB claimed their second win in a row.

No cricket analyst could have predicted that Hyderabad will fail to chase a meagre 150-run target when they needed only 35 from 24 with eight wickets in hand.

But somehow, a brilliant bit of captaincy from Virat Kohli changed the momentum of the game.

Shahbaz, who Kohli had chosen for the 17th over, sent back three Hyderabad batsmen in just one over.

His 3/7 in only two overs revived Bangalore’s hopes of winning the game.

With three Hyderabad batsmen – Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, and Abdul Samad –dismissed in a jiffy, Kohli turned his energies on the brittle SRH middle-order.

Apart from Kyle Jamieson, every RCB bowler hit the right length tonight which showed that the side can defend small totals as well.

This is a huge plus for Kohli since his side is well stocked on the batting front, with several proven superstars.

The skipper himself departed after a 29-ball 33, the same score that he had in the season opener against Mumbai Indians.

The Glenn Maxwell show continues

While Kohli and AB de Villiers failed to turn up, Glenn Maxwell continued his red-hot form.

The Australian had a slow start to his innings, thanks to great bowling by Hyderabad’s bowling unit but exploded in the death overs to propel RCB to a respectable total.

He was 9 (16 balls) at one stage but ended with 59 off 41.

The Australian power-hitter seems to be seeing and creaming the ball better than he has in the last five years in the IPL.

It looks like wearing the RCB jersey this year has reignited his best batting form. His last IPL fifty was back in 2016 against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Kohli confident of RCB bowling

This victory will make Kohli very confident of his bowling unit that had pin-point accuracy in this contest.

After restricting top batting units in Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad, the RCB bowlers will have their heads high moving into the tournament.

While Shahbaz Ahmed took the spotlight for his game-changing over, Mohammad Siraj and Harshal Patel were spot-on as well.

Both the pacers had identical figures of 2/25 that helped the RCB mount pressure on the opposition.

The trump card in Rashid Khan

Rashid Khan is one of the most impactful T20 players and tonight was just another example of it.

The cricket prodigy kept the RCB batsman on their toes and registered phenomenal figures of 2/18 in his quota of four overs.

He conceded only a single four despite facing all juggernauts of the RCB batting unit – Kohli, De Villiers, and Maxwell. Khan also chipped in a quick-fire 17 with the bat.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 149 for 8 (Maxwell 39, Kohli 33, Holder 3-30, Rashid 2-18) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 143 for 9 (Warner 54, Pandey 38, Siraj 2-25, Ahmed 3-7, Patel 2-25) by six runs.

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