Glenn Maxwell has written yet another chapter in an incredible Indian Premier League season after participating in one extraordinary match-winning partnership with Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate, Srikar Bharat.
Maxwell continued his sorcery in Friday’s final group match and looted his sixth IPL fifty of the year to help Bangalore seal a remarkable victory with last ball and seven wicket over Delhi Capitals in Dubai.
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Bharat (78 not out) and Maxwell (51 not out) combined in an unbeaten century able to guide Bangalore to 3-166 from the last ball after Delhi made 5-164 with a good start from Prithvi Shaw (44) and Shikhar Dhawan (43).
Bangalore were on the verge of rolling 3/55 when Maxwell joined Bharat in the fall in the 10th inning.
The Royal Challengers still needed a scary 110 runs from 63 deliveries to win the competition, with Maxwell and Bharat sharing in a batting masterclass.
Bharat – who blasted his unbeaten 78 runs from just 52 balls – proved the hero by death, with a victory in the last ball that snatched.
Avesh Khan hit a wide pass down the side of the leg, which Bharat lifted back over the quick bowl head for just six, sending fans into rapture, leaving captain Virat Kohli in awe.
“Incredible,” Kohli said. “It was a game where we had nothing to lose but still losing early wickets and doing well against a team at the top of the table is good. We have beaten them twice this season.”
Fans took to social media in droves to praise Bharat and Maxwell over the incredible batting display.
Maxwell’s undefeated 51 (from 33 balls) saw him take his count for the season to 498 runs, making him the fifth top scorer in the league in this year’s edition.
Only KL Rahul, with 30 sixes, has smashed more than the Victorians’ 21.
The defending champions crash out
Elsewhere, the defending champions of the Mumbai Indians failed to reach the playoffs after being run out of time, despite a strong effort in Abu Dhabi.
Mumbai, winners of the last two years, had realistically had no chance of getting into the last four, but they were producing some fireworks when they hammered Sunriser’s Hyderabad by 42 runs.
In need of a miraculous victory with more than 170 races to oust the Kolkata Knight Riders from the top four in the standings, Mumbai rode on Ishan Kishan’s remarkable fastest half century of the season to make a brave attempt with their 9-235 total.
Kishan raised his fifty from just 16 balls and scored 84 out of 32 balls with 11 fours and four sixes before being caught behind in the 10th inning.
Mumbai kept accelerating through Suryakumar Yadav’s blistering 82 off 40 balls to put a big total in hopes that their bowlers could blow up the Sunrisers for a low score.
But Hyderabad, eighth and last in the standings with just three wins in 14 group matches, dug deep and actually looked menacing in the race chase – in just a short time – before being limited to 8-193.
The result meant Mumbai and Kolkata both finished with seven wins, but the Knight Riders rejected the five-time champions at net running speed.
Kolkata will next take on RCB in an eliminator on Monday, with only the winner advancing.
Before then, the Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings meet at the table on Sunday in Dubai in the first qualifier, where the winners go straight to the final and the losers face the winners in Kolkata and Bangalore.
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