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IPL 2021: Classy KL Rahul, All-Round Harpreet Brar Give PBKS 34-Run Win Over RCB

Skipper KL Rahul’s unbeaten 91 (57) and an all-round effort by Harpreet Brar (25* and 3/19) along with Chris Gayle’s 46 (24) helped Punjab Kings smash Royal Challengers Bangalore by 34 runs at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday night. Punjab posted 179 for 5 in 20 overs despite suffering a middle overs-collapse thanks to Rahul and Brar. The left-arm spinner Brar then got Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers as RCB were restricted to 145 for 8 in 20 overs.

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RCB’s chase began with Devdutt Padikkal bowled by Riley Meredith going for a big shot for just 7 in the third over. Virat Kohli and Rajat Patidar then steadied the ship but couldn’t get the scoreboard ticking; RCB managed only 36 for 1 in the Power Play.

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Kohli tried taking the attack to Brar in his first two overs, while Patidar struggled at the other end. Patidar was at one stage 19 (25), and the pressure got to Kohli. It wasn’t like Kohli was striking too well either; Brar benefited, with Kohli bowled looking to slog for 35 off 34. In the very next ball, Glenn Maxwell was bowled by one that turned just a little away from him. The 11th over of the innings turned out to be a double wicket maiden.

Only AB de Villiers stood between Punjab and victory at that stage, and Brar got him in the next over, caught at cover for 3. Brar’s spell of 3 for 19 in the middle overs with one maiden killed the contest.

The equation was 96 in 36 at one stage which was too much for Patidar, Shahbaz and co.

Harshal Patel, who had conceded 53 from his four overs, had some fun scoring 31 off 13 to reduce the gap.

Earlier, Rahul’s onslaught helped PBKS realise 40 runs in the last two overs of Harshal Patel after they were struggling to reach a competitive total.

The Punjab franchise had lost opener Prabhsimran Singh (7) early before Chris Gayle (46 off 24 balls) and Rahul took charge. Gayle’s knock comprised six fours and two sixes and took the team score to 99 in the 11th over. After Gayle’s dismissal that left the team at 99 for two, PBKS lost three more wickets quickly which set them back and threatened to restrict them to under 150.

However, Rahul and newcomer Harpreet Brar (25 not out in 17 deliveries) added unbeaten 61 for the sixth wicket that took PBKS to their eventual score. Brar hit two sixes off Patel.

For RCB, New Zealand pace bowler Kyle Jamieson took two for 32 while left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed took one wicket for 11 runs.

Seam bowler Daniel Sams took one for 24.

(With IANS inputs)

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