IPL 2021: Maxwell, De Villiers help RCB thump KKR by 38 runs

Half-centuries from Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers guided Royal Challengers Bangalore to a convincing victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2021 IPL on Sunday.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore duo of AB de Villiers (L) and Glenn Maxwell tormented the Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers in Chennai.   -  BCCI/IPL

The clinical Royal Challengers Bangalore made it three out of three and moved to the top of table with a 38-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders during its IPL clash at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. 

Amassing 204 for four after electing to bat -- the rejuvenated Glenn Maxwell made a responsible 49-ball 78 and the gifted AB de Villiers remained unbeaten with an electrifying 34-ball 76 -- the RCB bowlers, operating with precision, cut all escape routes for KKR.

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In the death overs, the impressive Kyle Jamieson castled Shakib Al Hasan and found the edge of Pat Cummins’ bat.

The contest was effectively over when an inspired Mohammed Siraj conceded just one run to Andre Russell in the 19th over.

With KKR needing an impossible 43 off the final over, Harshal Patel cleaned up Russell.   

For KKR, starts were frittered away under scoreboard pressure. 

The pitch at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, for the day game, was better for stroke-play. The ball, not holding up, was travelling quicker to the bat. 

Earlier, the transformed Maxwell, balanced and employing his feet, both forward and back, held centrestage. He added solidity to his flair and flamboyance.

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But then, RCB’s massive total, after the side lost two wickets in the game’s second over from Varun Chakravarthy, also required a brutal onslaught from the rampant De Villiers.

The explosive De Villiers picked the length quickly, got into positions early, and with nifty footwork, hit boundaries and sixes for fun.   

De Villiers has unique gifts as a batsman, and when in form, the quality of bowling does not matter. Gaps are pierced with a surgeon’s precision, boundaries are cleared with ease and fielders are chasing leather.    

Before De Villiers’ onslaught, it was Maxwell who held the innings together.

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Technically improved, Maxwell got on to the front foot and drove with his left elbow leading the way, and he also travelled back for cuts and pulls.  

Of course, he hadn't compromised on his extraordinary shots such as the tennis-ball-like slash off Cummins to the cover fence and the switch-hit six off Varun over deep point. 

After Virat Kohli perished to a spectacular catch from Rahul Tripathi, running with his back to the ball from cover, off Varun and Rajat Patidar was done in by a googly, Maxwell, resurrected the innings with responsibility and enterprise.

It was a maximum display by Maxwell and RCB. 

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