Top Performer: Harshal’s Royal Act!

It has not been an easy IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Harshal Patel.

  • Scorecard: CSK vs RCB

Having lost his sister last month, Harshal showed tremendous resolve to return to cricket after missing just one match and after a slow start, and his bowling is finally making a difference for RCB.

Harshal was the top wicket-taker in IPL 2021 with 32 wickets in 15 matches, but this season he has struggled for consistency with 13 wickets in 10 games at a strike rate of 7.78.

He is showing signs of regaining his best form going into the business end of the tournament as RCB look to win the last few games and qualify for the play-offs.

Harshal shone with the ball against CSK as he took 3/35 to guide RCB to a crucial 13 run victory to end their three-match losing streak.

The win put RCB in a good place for the play-offs as they jumped to fourth in the standings with 12 points from 11 games.

Chasing 174 for victory on a wicket offering some assistance to the spinners, CSK made a good start courtesy of Devon Conway’s brisk half-century.

Glenn Maxwell’s double strike put CSK on the backfoot, but Conway and Moeen Ali threatened to take the game away from RCB with their sensible approach in the middle overs.

Conway’s dismissal for 56 off Wanindu Hasaranga in the 15th over dented CSK but they still had a lot of dangerous batters to follow.

Harshal struck at a crucial juncture when he dismissed Ravindra Jadeja for 3 after he failed to pick up the slower ball in the 16th over.

In his next over, he bagged the key wicket of the well-set Moeen Ali, who also was deceived by the slower ball as he offered a simple catch to Mohammed Siraj at mid-off.

The medium pacer was smart enough to realise that the ball was gripping a bit on the pitch at the MCA International Stadium in Pune and bowled some well-disguised slower balls which resulted in wickets.

With Mahendra Singh Dhoni failing to work his magic with the bat, RCB registered a much needed victory.

Harshal, who claimed Dwaine Pretorius’s wicket in the final over, was rightly named player of the match.

  • IPL 2022
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