Royal Challengers Bangalore has often been seen as the Proteas of the IPL – filled with terrific individual talents, but often failing to deliver as a team. This IPL season, however, they seem to have shed that moniker. Having won most of their previous matches, RCB has grown as one of the top contenders for the IPL 2021 crown. On the other hand, The Punjab Kings had a mixed IPL run this year; with some easy wins and baffling losses. They struggled to get the winning formula right. So when RCB met PBKS in Ahmedabad, most pundits predicted a comprehensive victory for Virat Kohli’s team.
The toss was won by RCB, and they opted to field. PBKS batters put up a decent total of 179, with their captain KL Rahul leading the fray, scoring a dazzling 57 ball 91. He was equally supported by the “Universe Boss” Chris Gayle (46). In response, RCB started their chase aggressively, despite losing an early wicket in Devdutt Padikkal (7).
However, the match’s climax came in the 11th over, when Harpreet Brar was asked to bowl. The wrist-spinner proved to be the golden arm, completely dismantling the star-studded RCB batting lineup. Virat Kohli was his first scalp, clean bowled by his opening delivery. He followed it up with Glenn Maxwell’s wicket on the very next ball. As a final crushing blow to the Royal Challengers’ chances, Harpreet ended up getting South African hall of famer Ab De Villiers’ wicket as well. His 3 wickets for 19 runs, alongside spinner Ravi Bishnoi’s wickets for 17 runs, completely turned the tide towards the Punjab Kings’ side. In the end, the Bengaluru side only managed 145/8 in their 20 overs, handing the Kings’ a 34 run win.
This match had two pivotal defining performances:
This win increased Punjab King’s chances of making it to the knockout stages of IPL 2021. However, a single performance proved to dictate the fate of a T20 match, and Harpreet Brar turned the tide in Punjab’s favor in this match single-handedly.