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Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 6 runs.
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That’s that from us for this game then. We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of the match just as much as Virat Kohli seemed to have enjoyed winning the match itself. Do stay tuned to Sportskeeda for all updates on the IPL and all cricket happening around the world. In fact, head on over to our coverage of the second game from today’s double header. Until next time that’s all from me, Habil Ahmed, on behalf of my co-commentators, Shashwat Kumar and Pratyush Rohra. Stay safe, wear a mask wherever you go and do not forget to wash your hands!
What the win means to RCB is quite obvious now, they’re through to the playoffs. But now they’ll want to make it to Qualifier 1 rather than the Eliminator. Still a couple of opportunities to do just that. Kohli’s men take on SRH next on Wednesday, before moving on to the high-flying Delhi Capitals on Friday. Wins there could see RCB finish in the top 2, leaving them a game away from the final. Whether they are able to pull it off remains to be seen.

The Punjab Kings, on the other hand, find themselves in a position RCB fans have gotten used to in the last few seasons: needing to win their last game and hoping that a lot of results go their way from here. The problem, of course, is that their last remaining match is against table-toppers CSK. 
Glenn Maxwell (Player of the Match): I was lucky to hit the first couple out of the middle. I feel like the last two years I have batted nicely. To have it set up by the openers today gave us some time to get an idea of the wicket. They wanted me to do the exact same role (as he does with Australia). This (the Sharjah wicket) is probably the most difficult to adjust to. The spinners get it to skid on, meaning you have to be sharper at the start of your innings.
Virat Kohli: It feels amazing. After 2011, we haven't done it (qualified) with games to spare. Eight wins out of 12 games is a great campaign. We have two more opportunities to finish in the top two. That'll give us motivation to play even more fearlessly. 15-20 runs on this ground can be crucial. We have to plug those areas. As a side, we have had an endeavour to improve. We knew the wicket would get slower and slower. KL and Mayank batted really well, but we knew we were just two wickets away from coming back into the game.
Well, it has all happened out there! It looked like the Punjab Kings were in charge of this run-chase and would get there comfortably but then - what now seems like - the inevitable happened again. A bit of a batting collapse from KL Rahul’s men meant that Virat Kohli and his team are through to the playoffs for a second time in two years.

Things were going well for PBKS before it all came crashing down, of course. Looking to chase down 165, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal put together a 91-run partnership in 65 balls for the first wicket. From there, it was all downhill. 

Rahul fell, then Pooran, then Mayank, and the game soon spiralled out of control. For all of that though, the RCB bowlers deserve their praise for bringing themselves back into this, Yuzvendra Chahal in particular. His 3 wickets were key to breaking Punjab’s momentum and swinging this game back in RCB’s favour.

This game also did well to show just how far RCB’s death bowling has come in the past few years. Some great bowling at the end from Siraj, George Garton and Harshal Patel made sure that the likes of Shahrukh Khan, Aiden Markram and Moises Henrique didn’t snatch the game away from the Bangalore-based franchise!

Earlier, it was Glenn Maxwell who pulled RCB out of quite a tight spot in their innings. Who else but Maxwell? Having lost 3 quick wickets, it looked like they were all set to throw another great start away. The former PBKS man instead set about rebuilding the innings in the company of AB de Villiers, helping Kohli’s men finish strong in the process.

What that means now, of course, is that RCB are into the playoffs with two games to spare. That’s uncharted territory for the Men in Red, but what they do with this momentum remains to be seen!
KL Rahul: Would swap the orange cap for a victory any day. It is not something that I haven't enjoyed wearing but would have been more happy had we won and qualified. I can't put my finger (on where things went wrong). The score they get was par, perhaps 10-15 runs extra that's all. When someone like Maxwell bats like that, you have to give it to him. I think with the bat, the last couple of years have been disappointing for us. If I really have to be honest, our batting has let us down. I would be lying if I say it (lack of runs elsewhere) does not play on my mind. I tried to adapt to the team's needs and it is not something I enjoy. I have tried to do the best I have can to play that (anchor) role. Batting in the lower order, you are not going to get players scoring 500-600 runs but we have lacked someone who plays those crucial 25-30 run knocks. Shahrukh has done well. The likes of Arshdeep, Bishnoi, Harpreet have also done well. We need to find a way to score more runs.
RCB win by 6 runs!

And that's that! RCB have FINALLY beaten Punjab for the first time since 2019. And they also qualify for the playoffs for the first time since.... well, last year! 
20
overs
158 /6 score
W
2
1
2
6
1
runs
cricket bat icon Moises Henriques *
12 (9)
cricket bat icon Harpreet Brar
3 (2)
cricket ball icon Harshal Patel
0 /27
19.6 Harshal Patel to Moises Henriques, full toss on leg stump. Henriques transfers his weight onto the front foot and flicks it towards deep mid wicket. Just another single. RCB qualify! PBKS on the brink!
Yeah, that is probably too little too late eh?
19.5 Harshal Patel to Moises Henriques, SIX! TOO LATE NOW! Right in the slot on leg stump. Henriques clears his front leg and pummels that one way over cow corner for a maximum!
19.4 Harshal Patel to Moises Henriques, another slower yorker on middle and off stump. Henriques tips the ball down the ground before scampering across for a brace. That should be that!
16 needed off 3 balls.
19.3 Harshal Patel to Harpreet Brar, slower delivery on a length outside off stump. Harpreet backs away and dabs the ball towards the sweeper at deep cover point for just a single
19.2 Harshal Patel to Harpreet Brar, full delivery just outside off stump. Harpreet clears his front leg and drills the ball down the ground towards long on for a couple of runs
Harpreet Brar, left-hand bat, is the new man in. And he's got quite the task at hand.
19.1 Harshal Patel to Moises Henriques, OUT! RUN OUT! Slower yorker on middle and off stump. Henriques does not pick it and drops the ball beside him before calling Shahrukh through. The problem is that the latter can't make it to the other end in time as Harshal hits the stumps
Harshal Patel (3-0-15-0) will bowl the final over!
Fairly tight over from Siraj then. That leaves the Kings with quite a bit to do in the final over. This is what it comes down to, then! RCB 6 balls away from qualification. PBKS 19 runs away from strengthening their playoffs push! What's it going to be?
19
overs
0 /0 score
0
1
4
0
1w
1
1
runs
cricket ball icon Mohammed Siraj
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