Maxwell, Christian shine in RCB's shock defeat
Maxwell's hot form continues until he is run out at a pivotal moment, with defeat costing Bangalore a chance at a top-two finish
7 October 2021, 07:12 AM AEST
Dan Christian shone with the ball and Glenn Maxwell starred with the bat but the contributions of the two Australians couldn't save the Royal Challengers Bangalore from a shock defeat in their latest Indian Premier League clash in Abu Dhabi.
The 38-year-old Christian enjoyed one of the best IPL spells of his nomadic T20 career, taking 2-14 off his three overs, including a blistering caught and bowled to remove Jason Roy, to keep the Sunrisers Hyderabad to 7-141.
But despite Maxwell's blistering 40 off 25 balls, which ended with him looking the picture of frustration after being run out, RCB fell just short of their target in the final over of their chase, eventually losing by just four runs on 6-137.
Skipper Virat Kohli, who only scored five at the top of the RCB innings, said Maxwell's run out was the match's turning point.
The 32-year-old Victorian had looked in terrific nick, playing better than anyone else on a difficult pitch, his 40 having included two sixes off the man who may well be T20's finest bowling exponent, Rashid Khan.
It took him to 21 sixes for the IPL season, just one behind the league leader KL Rahul, of the Punjab Kings.
Yet asked to take a run that wasn't really on by his struggling partner Devdutt Padikkal, who was trying to get him on strike, Maxwell was comfortably run out by a direct hit from the swooping Kane Williamson.
Maxwell looked understandably frustrated as he walked off muttering to himself.
"Maxi's run-out was the game-changing moment," conceded Kohli, whose men have already qualified for the IPL playoffs.
AB de Villiers, following Maxwell, tried to work his magic but didn't see enough of the strike and, with 13 needed off the last over, even his straight six off the fourth ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar ultimately wasn't enough.
De Villiers needed to hit the last ball for six but could only muster a single as the Sunrisers earned only their third win of the campaign.
Earlier, Christian had been superb, getting the ball to grip in the surface and taking two wickets in his second over, including a brilliant catch off his own bowling to get rid of England World Cup winner Jason Roy, who had made a threatening 44 off 38 balls.
Roy smashed a thunderous drive straight at the 38-year-old, who couldn't get out of the way but showed excellent reflexes to take the grab, albeit with a couple of juggles before he pouched it.
Christian, who, amazingly, is playing for his 19th different T20 franchise in a globetrotting career, didn't fare so well with the bat, scoring just one off four balls.
Asked afterwards how long he might have left on his cricketing travels, Christian said: "I've still got a couple (of years) left, I'm still really enjoying it," he said.
"Nice personally to get a couple of wickets today, but it was a fantastic effort from everyone out there."
Of his catch, he smiled modestly: "That was self-preservation. Jason absolutely smacked it and I was lucky - it just sort of rebounded off my hip and it went straight into my hands."