IPL 2021: Maxwell’s perfect night, Patel’s hat-trick conjure a nightmare for MI

IPL 2021: Maxwell’s perfect night, Patel’s hat-trick conjure a nightmare for MI, the vie

Glenn Maxwell scripted one of the most unforgettable nights for Royal Challengers Bangalore — he shellacked 56 runs off 37 balls, took two wickets for 23 runs and snatched a terrific catch to furnish Virat Kohli’s side a memorable win over Mumbai Indians. He had two canny accomplices too — hat-trick hero Harshal Patel and comeback man Yuzvendra Chahal.

Maxwell’s perfect night

To the assortment of conventional strokes Glenn Maxwell has reversed—the sweep, pull, slog—you could add the ramp too, as though he is planning to publish a cricket lexicon of his own. As if pulling off the usual ramp is not complicated enough—though a T20 staple, few accomplish it with a high success percentage —he does it the opposite way to his own utter amusement and without any eye-shirking contortions of the body.

Twice he unfurled the stroke against Adam Milne. The first came as a shock when no one was expecting daredevilry. Pirouetting like a gymnast, he opened himself up, and dinked the ball past the third man. The next arrived in Milne’s 17-run over — after reverse-sweeping (or was it reverse slog?) him — dabbing him fine of the short third-man fielder, with another nimble flip.

The Victorian seemed to relish his battles with Milne, who he had creamed for a couple of boundaries, of more conventional hue, to kickstart his innings. To the spinners, he employed the more straightforward switch-hit over mid-wicket, as he illustrated to Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar. His knock injected momentum to RCB’s innings, which was flailing as Kohli struggled for timing. It was an uncharacteristic knock by the captain—he stormed off to a start, ransacking 28 runs off the first 15 balls, but in the next 27 balls, he hoarded just 23 runs, soaking up more dot balls than usual (18). But fortunately for him, he had Maxwell in (reverse) swinging for the fences.

It was not the last time, Maxwell came back to torment his old team. He grabbed the opening-partnership breaking catch to eject a rampaging Quinton de Kock, before snaffling the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Krunal, all the while conceding just 23 runs. So much fuss is made whenever he underperforms, but on Sunday, he was worth every penny RCB had spent to acquire him.

Patel’s dream night

Harshal Patel is already the highest wicket-taker in this edition, unprecedentedly so. To this already rich haul, and burgeoning reputation, he added a hat-trick to stub the last flickering embers of Mumbai victory. When he strode in to bowl the 17th over, Mumbai had already lost half their crew, at 105. However, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard were still in the middle and were capable of hunting down 61 off 24 balls.

But the unsung, under-appreciated Patel knocked the wind out of their sails. He foxed Hardik with a full, slower ball.

Patel, seeing Pollard shuffle, had smartly floated one on his legs. The same ball, only that it was pitched on off-stump, nailed Rahul Chahar in front of the stumps to instigate wild celebrations, embellishing what is already a heart-warming story of a forgotten cricketer parachuting to fame.

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