The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) continued their preparations in earnest for the upcoming UAE leg of the 2021 IPL. With star players like Virat Kohli and Mohammad Siraj having arrived in the Middle East, the team have cranked up their preparations as well. They recently stepped out on the field to compete in an intra-squad game to build up match practice.
The contingent was divided into two teams, RCB A and RCB B, led by Harshal Patel and Devdutt Padikkal respectively. In the absence of a coin, an internet router was used for the coin toss which RCB A won. The side elected to bowl first in bright sunny conditions. After losing the toss, Padikkal said:
"Obviously, not the most pleasant weather. We're going to have that challenge atleast in one match in the tournament, so might as well get used to it."
RCB A lost a wicket in the powerplay but got off to a solid start. AB de Villiers and Mohammad Azharudden built a solid partnership for the second wicket. The South African reached his half-century in the seventh over itself after a sluggish start.
He eventually converted it into a three-figure score as RCB A compiled a total of 212-4 in their 20 overs. de Villiers struck seven fours and 10 sixes in his innings of 104 runs off 46 deliveries. Azharudden played a vital knock as well with 66 runs to his name. Speaking after the innings, de Villiers said:
"When we arrived and I got out off the bus, I thought it's crazy that we're trying to play a cricket game in the middle of the day. Luckily the breeze came up, I told Azharudeen that it's much better now and the pitch will get flatter. We had fun out there, I'm pleased with the runs on the board. It was very stretchy for the first 20 balls out there."
RCB B complete mammoth chase in last ball thriller
The chasing side got off to a stellar start courtesy of Devdutt Padikkal and KS Bharat. The duo kept the required rate under check and cruised at 12 runs an over until the halfway stage of the innings.
Bharat stood firm at the crease following the departure of Padikkal, who scored a quickfire 36 off 21 balls.
The young wicket-keeper batsman scored 96 to set the platform for the middle order to complete the chase. The match went down to the wire with RCB B requiring three runs off the final two deliveries. With the contest tied after the penultimate ball, Padikkal's side finished the chase off with a boundary to walk away with as victors.