A spectacular 53 not out off 25 balls from Delhi Capitals (DC) batsman Shimron Hetmyer went in vain, as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) sneaked home by one run in a thrilling IPL 2021 game in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
With 46 needed off the last three, the game looked to be done and dusted. But Hetmyer slammed Kyle Jamieson for three sixes to bring DC right back into the game. The first was a full toss that was slogged over deep midwicket, and the second was swung in the same region. The last ball of the over was ferociously launched over long-on.
Hetmyer raced to his fifty off 23 balls, and Rishabh Pant, who was struggling for big hits till then, pulled off a helicopter shot for four.
With 14 needed off the last over bowled by Mohammed Siraj, the RCB bowler conceded only four off the first four balls. Pant (58 not out off 48) swung his bat wildly and got two fours of the last two balls, but that was not enough, as DC fell agonisingly short by a run. It just wasn’t Pant’s day, and the result was proof of the same.
Earlier, after AB de Villiers’ 42-ball 75 hoisted RCB to a competitive 171 for 5, a sandstorm delayed DC’s chase. When the game resumed, Prithvi Shaw got into attack mode by crunching Mohammed Siraj for two fours in the second over. The first one was whipped past midwicket, while the second was drilled back past the bowler.
RCB, though, dealt a big blow to DC’s hopes when Kyle Jamieson sent back the in-form Shikhar Dhawan for 6. The left-hander, who was cramped for room with a short ball, only managed to guide the ball to fine leg.
Siraj then sent back Steve Smith (4) with a beauty that straightened after pitching and drew the edge.
DC captain Rishabh Pant overturned an lbw decision early in his innings against Washington Sundar, as replays revealed an inside edge. Shaw (21), though, fell soon after, nicking a short and wide delivery from Harshal Patel to the wicketkeeper. DC struggled to 62 for 3 at the halfway mark of their chase.
Pant and Marcus Stoinis began getting a move on and managed four boundaries in six balls. Harshal Patel, though, nipped the partnership in the bud, having Stoinis (22) caught behind with a good-length delivery outside off that the batsman could only edge behind.
Shimron Hetmyer came in and crunched Siraj for a six over long-on and a four past deep square. He had a reprieve when Devdutt Padikkal dropped a skier running in from long-on. The DC batsman almost made RCB pay dearly for it.
An AB de Villiers special lifts RCB to 171 for 5
AB de Villiers once again starred with an unbeaten 75 off 42 balls as RCB posted a competitive 171 for 5 after being sent into bat. RCB were 148 for 5 after 19 overs. However, De Villiers hammered three sixes in the last over bowled by Marcus Stoinis to push RCB to a formidable total.
Stoinis made the mistake of giving De Villiers room to free his arms, and the RCB batsman gleefully accepted the invitation. The first six was bludgeoned down the ground off a full delivery, while the second was walloped over short fine leg.
The third six came off a short and wide delivery outside off stump that was whipped disdainfully over extra cover. 23 came off the last over bowled by Stoinis as De Villiers raced from 53 off 36 to 75 off 42. During the course of his 40th IPL fifty, De Villiers also moved past 5000 runs in the IPL.
Had it not been for De Villiers, the RCB total would not have ended up looking very competitive. They had lost both their openers cheaply. Captain Virat Kohli (12) chopped a short-of-a-length delivery from Avesh Khan onto his stumps. The very next ball, Ishant Sharma cleaned up Devdutt Padikkal (17) with a length ball on middle that crashed through the left-hander’s defences.
After taking a few singles, Glenn Maxwell got into the act, lofting leg-spinner Amit Mishra straight over his head for a maximum. When Axar Patel came in, Maxwell dispatched a full ball over long-on for another six.
Maxwell’s entertainment was a brief one, though, as Mishra had him caught at long-on for 25. The batsman attempted his trademark swipe across the line but couldn't connect too well, as his dismissal left RCB in trouble at 60 for 3.
Rajat Patidar (31) hung around for a while with De Villiers and even hooked Ishant for a six over short fine leg.
He eventually fell to Axar Patel, pulling a straight short-of-a-length delivery straight to long-on. Washington Sundar (6) failed with the bat again even as De Villiers cracked a couple of sixes off Axar Patel and Kagiso Rabada. De Villiers then tore apart Stoinis in the last over as RCB finished on a high.
IPL 2021: DC vs RCB - Man of the Match
AB de Villiers was brilliant with the bat for RCB once again. He came in with his team under trouble and took them to an impressive 171, thanks to his unbeaten 75 off 42.
De Villiers batted patiently till the end and opened up in spectacular fashion against Marcus Stoinis in the last over. Rajat Patidar also batted well for RCB, compiling an important 31.
When RCB bowled, Harshal Patel was once again among the wickets. He claimed 2 for 37.
For DC, pacer Avesh Khan was excellent with the ball again. He got the massive scalp of Virat Kohli to peg RCB back early. Khan gave away only 24 in his four overs.
Ishant Sharma also did well, dismissing Devdutt Padikkal with a peach of a delivery. He also bowled a maiden, conceding only 26 runs in his four overs.
In DC’s chase, Shimron Hetmyer almost pulled off a heist with a blazing half-century, while Rishabh Pant made 58 not out off 48.
However, it was AB de Villiers who was named the Man of the Match for his blistering innings.