Super Saturday: Player of the Match

Kedar Jadhav’s 37-ball 69 made the difference between a below-par total and one that Royal Challengers could hope to defend. Glenn Maxwell shone as captain and with the bat for Kings XI Punjab.

Kedar Jadhav attempts an unorthodox stroke en route to his knock of 69.   -  PTI

Although there were two noticeable performers in the same game, Kedar Jadhav is the Player of the Match in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 15-run win over Delhi Daredevils in Bengaluru. Jadhav’s blitzkreig made the difference between a below-par total and one that his team could hope to defend. Daredevils’ 157 was not a stiff total of the highest magnitude; Daredevils captain conceded as much when he said his team would have chased it down eight out of 10 times. That it got over the line was due to its bowlers but the hope was kindled in the first place by Jadhav’s 37-ball 69.

Jadhav started off slowly, a six off leggie Amit Mishra the only belligerent hit in the first 17 balls he faced. He cut loose in the 13th over, collecting two sixes and two fours off Mishra. Off short-of-length balls or fuller ones, Jadhav seemed ready for any kind of delivery, as if in a ‘see ball, hit ball’ mode. He displayed power in the next over bowled by seamer Carlos Brathwaite as well, hitting a four and a six in two cavalier strokes, and reached his 50, off 26 balls, in the same over.

Brathwaite was hit for another six and a four in the 16th over, before Jadhav departed attempting more attack, off Zaheer Khan. Jadhav’s effect could be seen in his contribution of 47 in his team’s highest partnership of 66 - alongside Stuart Binny, who contributed only 16. Jadhav’s 69 was crucial considering no one else in Royal Challengers’ innings scored more than 24.

It was then up to the bowlers to take it forward. The win meant Rishabh Pant’s determined half-century had to be overlooked. Pant’s 36-ball 57, featuring three fours and four sixes, kept Daredevils’ hopes alive, but the collapse around him eventually took its toll.

Glenn Maxwell was the other Man of the Match in Kings XI Punjab’s victory over Rising Pune Supergiant. Not only did he lay the foundation for the win via resourceful captaincy, he also scored a quickfire 44 later on to drive his team home.