Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) defeated Punjab Kings (PBKS) in a last-over thriller to become the third team to qualify for playoffs in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
After opting to bat first, the Challengers posted 164/7 on the board in their allotted 20 overs. Skipper Virat Kohli (25) and young star Devdutt Padikkal (40) started well by adding 68 runs for the opening wicket.
But after Kohli’s dismissal, RCB lost two more wickets in quick succession before Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers joined hands to take their side out of hot waters.
Maxwell and De Villiers formed a crucial 73-run partnership for the fourth wicket. While De Villiers got out for 23, Maxwell smashed a vital half-century to help RCB reach a competitive total.
In reply, Punjab got off to a scintillating start as KL Rahul, and Mayank Agarwal stitched a 91-run stand for the opening wicket. Rahul was sent back by Shahbaz Ahmed for 39, but Mayank stayed in the middle and scored a half-century.
However, Yuzvendra Chahal brought RCB back into the game, picking up a three-wicket haul for just 29 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Chahal removed Mayank (57), Nicholas Pooran (3) and Sarfaraz Khan (0). In the end, Punjab could only manage 158/6 in their stipulated overs, losing the contest by six runs.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) October 3, 2021
HUM JEET GAYE! RCB has qualified for the playoffs! 😭 That’s my team! Outstanding! It’s the year of the RCBian surely. 🔥 #RCBvPBKS
— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) October 3, 2021
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 3, 2021
Too much left for the end by Punjab once again. Got over the line in the previous match, but should have been more attacking in the beginning . Can’t blame finishers for this.
And for Bangalore, Maxwell has been sensational #RCBvPBKS
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 3, 2021
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) October 3, 2021
Tough luck to PBKS' fans and @realpreityzinta.
Just thought of saying bittersweet symphony of sport but PBKS' fans haven't had much of sweet to cheer about.
— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) October 3, 2021
So @RCBTweets qualify again. This year?
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 3, 2021
Seven 50+ scores for Mayank Agarwal in IPL since 2020 and #PBKS have gone on to lose all seven games.
KL Rahul played in six of these games and scored at a SR of 125.20. (Mayank SR 171.28)#RCBvPBKS
— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) October 3, 2021
2️⃣ points secured. ✅
Qualification for playoffs. ✅
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) October 3, 2021
Punjab has maintained their impeccable record of taking it to the last over. Only this time it looks difficult now after what was yet again a very good start. #RCBvsPBKS
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) October 3, 2021
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) October 3, 2021
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) October 3, 2021
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 3, 2021