Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) succumbed to their second defeat of the IPL 2021 season, this time against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) by 34 runs. Virat Kohli's men were comprehensively beaten by an inspired bowling performance from PBKS, with young left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar emerging as a star performer with the ball.
The 25-year-old finished with stunning figures of 3-19, picking up the prized scalps of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. RCB lost their way after the huge blows and, despite a late flourish, fell way short of the target.
For the second time this season, RCB's weak lower middle-order was exposed. This performance showed their overdependence on star players like Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Maxwell. This weakness has proved that although RCB look formidable on paper, they can come undone if rocked early.
Twitter reacts as Harpreet Brar destroys RCB
RCB fans were disappointed with the way their team's batting capitulated. After the debacle against CSK, this loss against a struggling PBKS side has raised numerous questions about RCB's chances of winning their maiden IPL title this season.
Here's what netizens had to say about RCB's dismal performance:
The target of 180 was always going to be a challenging one but given the form of RCB's top-order, a good start from Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal could have set their chase up nicely. However, Aussie speedster Riley Meredith removed the in-form southpaw early.
Kohli and Rajat Patidar then consolidated the RCB innings and began to build a platform for the likes of Maxwell and AB de Villiers to explode. But PBKS spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Brar bowled brilliantly and triggered a sensational RCB batting collapse.
The wickets of Kohli and Maxwell off back-to-back balls put PBKS in the driving seat, and AB de Villiers' wicket proved to be the final nail in the RCB coffin. Brar and Bishnoi picked five wickets between them and gave away just 36 runs in 8 overs.
The PBKS side's spirits will be high after a sensational performance against all odds. RCB, on the other hand, will once again have to deal with a familiar problem - their batting depth.