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IPL 2021: Maxwell's innings made the 'difference,' says Kohli after RCB's win over SRH

Virat Kohli praised Glenn Maxwell
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Virat Kohli praised Glenn Maxwell

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Virat Kohli praised Glenn Maxwell, saying the Australian batsman's knock made the "difference" in the end as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made it two in two in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 on Wednesday.

Virat Kohli praised Glenn Maxwell, saying the Australian batsman's knock made the "difference" in the end as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made it two in two in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 on Wednesday.

RCB defended 149 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. David Warner-led SRH, who have now lost both their games in the league, suffered a batting collapse after being 96 for 1 after 13 overs.

With the win on Wednesday, RCB shot to the top of the IPL 2021 table, while SRH are placed seventh.

After being asked to bat in Chennai, RCB lost Devdutt Padiakkal in the third over of the day. Shahbaz Ahmed scored a 10-ball 14 before falling to his namesake Shahbaz Nadeem, leaving RCB at 47 for 2. The dismissal brought Maxwell to the crease, who turned tables around for Bangalore with his quick-fire knock.

The Aussie hammered three sixes and five fours in his knock of 41-ball 59. He put up 44 runs with his captain Kohli for the third wicket. SRH bowlers produced a terrific effort as other than Kohli and Maxwell, only three RCB batters managed to reach double digits and Ahmed (14) among them top-scored. Jason Holder picked three wickets, Rashid Khan two wickets and the trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shahbaz Nadeem, and Natarajan bagged a wicket each.

Speaking in the post-match interview, Kohli said that he was very proud of his side as their execution under pressure was "spot on."

"Not as exhausted as I am proud (of the team). You are never really out of the game in these conditions. The extra bowling options made those impact performances in the middle overs. I told the guys don't think that we struggled to get to 149. If it was tough for us, it will be tough for them as well. Our execution under pressure was spot on. It kept getting tougher and tougher with the old ball. I think Maxi's innings was the difference for us. To be very honest, we are not over excited with wins this season. We have plans. We traded Harshal from Delhi, gave him a specific role and he's doing a great job," added Kohli.

Maxwell, who was awarded the Player of the Match for his terrific innings on Wednesday, also received praise from his compatriot and SRH captain Warner.

"A very bitter pill to swallow. Our bowlers were fantastic to restrict them. Maxwell batted well and set the platform. We needed two set batsmen at the end, but we failed to do that. We needed to build a partnership and play proper cricket shots.

We played cross batted shots, and that's not the way to play here. This hurts. We know how to approach the upcoming games. We have another three games here and I think the wickets are going to get better. We need minimum damage in the first six overs and play simple cricket. The team batting second (at Chepauk) should have won all four games. This is exactly what happened last night," said Warner after his side's second consecutive loss in the IPL 2021.

SRH's chase derailed once their skipper Warner departed for 54 off 37 deliveries. He struck seven fours and a six as he registered his 49th half-century in the IPL.

RCB's Shahbaz Ahmed and Harshal Patel made important breakthroughs to bring RCB back into the game in the second innings. Out of Ahmed's three wickets, two came in the same over, where he dismissed Manish Pandey and Abdul Samad. Before making those two dismissals, Ahmed had removed the dangerous Jonny Bairstow, who was sent back for just 12 runs.

"It was a tough situation (bowling the 17th over), but I am happy that the captain trusted my ability. There was a bit of help from the surface and I exploited it. I was confident about bowling another over, but Siraj was bowling well and deserved to bowl. Bairstow's catch was important (considering the situation), and I was happy that I got to hold another chance," Ahmed said in an interview after RCB's six-run win over SRH.

SRH have a big game coming up. They have a two-day break before their fixture against Mumbai Indians (MI) in Chennai. RCB, on the other hand, take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Sunday.

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