Carnage ensued in Chennai on Sunday afternoon, as Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers led Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) victorious batting charge against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the first day game of the 2021 IPL.
AB-Maxwell magic helps RCB register 204 on slow Chepauk wicket
Batting first, RCB posted a herculean 204-run target thanks to game-changing knocks from Maxi (78 off 49) and AB (76 off 34). The men-in-red hadn’t had the best of the starts in the game, losing 2 wickets to the mystery spin of Varun Chakravarthy in the second over itself. However, some bizarre decisions from Eoin Morgan, the KKR skipper; coupled with a sensational batting effort from Bangalore’s overseas stalwarts helped RCB breach the 200-run yardstick. An exceptionally clutch feat, considering how little the Chepauk surface has offered to the batsmen this season.
Meanwhile, KKR’s approach to the chase was somewhat erratic. The inexperienced top-order of Shubman Gill (21), Nitish Rana (18), and Rahul Tripathi got some momentum going to the Knights’ favor; but it proved to be insufficient. Shakib al Hasan (26) and Eoin Morgan (29) tried to reverse the game’s tide with a defiant sixth-wicket partnership for a while. But post their dismissals, it was up to Andre Russell to single-handedly finish off the job. And while Dre Russ did manage a couple of lusty blows; ultimately, his effort fell short by 38-runs.
“Absolutely interested to make a comeback to the South African national team”- AB de Villiers
RCB will be buoyed by their third win on the trot; in the past, they haven’t really been able to enjoy such prolonged winning streaks for long. But in a more important development that should excite cricket fans all around the world, AB de Villiers seems to be considering making a comeback to the South Africa team for the 2021 T20 World Cup.
The mercurial ‘keeper-bat, who took a sabbatical from the international format back in 2018, recently opined that it would be ‘fantastic’ if he can slot back into the Saffer squad.
“If there’s no space for me, so be it. But if I can slot in there, it will be fantastic if everything falls in place. Waiting for Bouchy (coach Mark Boucher) towards the end of the IPL. We will then plan accordingly”, AB told media in his post-match briefing.
“Did talk to AB before the IPL; he has still got his rhythm”- South Africa coach Mark Boucher
Talks of bringing AB back into the South Africa team seem to be in the process already. A few days back, Boucher himself had expressed his desire to have the RCB pro back into the national team.
“I did chat to him before the IPL. He seems very intent on performing well there and prove to the cricketing world that he has still got it. I think his form and experience could greatly benefit us in our campaign”, Boucher had said on the eve of SA’s 3-1 loss against Pakistan in the T20I series.