Srikar Bharat final-ball six, partnership with Glenn Maxwell, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Capitals, cricket news

There were dramatic scenes in the Indian Premier League on Friday night, with wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat smacking a last-ball six to help the Royal Challengers Bangalore secure an unlikely victory over the Delhi Capitals.

After four hours of thrilling action at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, the Royal Challengers needed six runs off the final delivery for a crucial win, the franchise’s 100th victory in the IPL.

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Delhi seamer Avesh Khan dished up a wide full toss, adjusting the equation to five runs required off the last ball. Suddenly, Bharat only needed a boundary to force a Super Over.

But that wouldn’t be necessary, with Bharat cracking the next delivery over the long on boundary for six, sending his Bangalore teammates into a frenzy.

It was just the third time in IPL history that the winning runs had come from a six with at least five runs needed from the last ball.

Bangalore captain Virat Kohli said after the win: “Unbelievable game. The way AB (de Villiers) batted in the beginning and then with KS and (Glenn) Maxwell in the end was unbelievable. We knew KS was a guy who could come in at three at any stage. We have the experience to win the title.”

He later tweeted: “Important win before the big match on Monday. Well played Bharat & Maxi.”

Bharat told reporters: “Great to win on the last ball, and an incredible feeling to finish it off in style. I wasn‘t nervous at any point and was just looking for the right ball. I have worked hard and nothing comes easy.“

Bharat had combined with Australian powerhouse Glenn Maxwell for a game-changing 111-run partnership, with both batters cracking half-centuries in the run chase.

The Royal Challengers were 3/55 when Maxwell joined Bharat at the crease in the 10th over, needing 110 runs from 63 deliveries to win.

The 28-year-old Bharat finished unbeaten on 78, his 52-ball knock featuring three boundaries and four sixes.

Meanwhile, Maxwell struck his sixth half-century of the IPL tournament, scoring a quick-fire 51 not out off 33 deliveries.

Maxwell has been in impeccable form during the second leg of the glamorous T20 tournament – his most recent scores are 51*, 40, 57, 50* and 56.

He has accumulated 498 runs in 13 innings, averaging 45.27 with the bat at a strike rate of 147.33. No player in the IPL has scored more runs at a better strike rate than Maxwell this year.

The Australian T20 superstar joins India’s KL Rahul as the only players with six 50+ scores in this season’s IPL.

Most runs in IPL 2021

626 – KL Rahul (Punjab Kings)

546 – Faf du Plessis (Chennai Super Kings)

544- Shikhar Dhawan (Delhi Capitals)

533 – Ruturaj Gaikwad (Chennai Super Kings)

498 – Glenn Maxwell (Royal Challenges Bangalore)

The Royals Challengers will next face the Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday morning at 1am AEDT.

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