Attacking half-centuries by seasoned batters Dinesh Karthik and Glenn Maxwell helped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) post a challenging 189/5 in 20 overs against Delhi Capitals (DC) in Match 27 of IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.
Karthik launched a ferocious counter-attack and shared a 97-run partnership with Shahbaz Ahmed (32 not out off 21 balls) for the unfinished sixth wicket partnership after Maxwell had rescued RCB from a precarious 40/3 after they were asked to bat first by Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant after winning the toss.
Karthik blasted an unbeaten 66 off 34 balls (4×5, 6×5), reminding of a similar counter-attacking innings by the Tamil Nadu batter 10 days back that helped his team beat Rajasthan Royals at the same Wankhede Stadium. The last three overs on Saturday produced 69 runs for RCB that gave their total a lot of respectability.
Maxwell had laid the foundation for the counter-attack by Karthik and Shahbaz with a 34-ball 55 that rescued RCB from a precarious position after they lost Virat Kohli to a brilliant throw by Lalit Yadav.
Karthik blasted Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman for 28 runs in the 18th over — hitting four fours and two huge sixes. Delhi bowlers especially Rahman (0/48) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/46) were carted around by Karthik and Maxwell, who took 23 runs off the Indian spinner, hitting two fours and two sixes in the process.
Earlier, RCB could manage only 40/2 in the powerplay but it soon became 40/3 as Virat Kohli departed two balls into the seventh over when Lalit Yadav caught the former India captain short of his crease with a brilliant throw, falling over. Kohli had dropped the ball to covers, hoping to steal a single as he and Glenn Maxwell tried to repair the innings that had seen openers Anuj Rawat (0) and skipper Faf du Plessis (8) back in the dugout with the score reading 13. But Lalit pounced on the ball and sent in a lightening throw to hit the stumps.
Maxwell continued to resurrect the innings on his way to a 30-ball half-century, severely punishing Kuldeep Yadav in his first over, hammering the spinner for 23 runs that included two fours and two sixes, going on to complete his half-century off 30 balls.
However, Kuldeep Yadav had the last laugh eventually as he got the rampaging Australian out, caught by Lalit Yadav at long-on as Maxwell tried to hit a delivery that dipped a little and got the toe-end of the bat.
Though losing Maxwell at that juncture looked like a setback for RCB but Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed ensured they reached a defendable total in the end.