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Lewis Hits half-century, but Maxwell Leads RCB Past Royals

An unbeaten 50 from Australian Glenn Maxwell topped a typically boundary-studded half-century from West Indies left-handed opener Evin Lewis as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday.

Maxwell struck six fours and one six from 30 balls and RCB chased down a target of 150 in 19 overs to bag two points and cement third in standings on 14 points.

Lewis, a member of the Windies 15-member squad for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup that will also take place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, got a timely boost of form and confidence.

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His top score of 58 from 37 balls that included five fours and three sixes propelled the Royals to 149 for nine from their 20 overs.

In the chase, RCB were quick out of the blocks as their captain Virat Kohli creamed three fours in the first over.

Fellow opener Devdutt Padikkal got a reprieve in the third over and added three fours in the next two overs.

But the left-hander got out in the final over of the powerplay, as Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman bowled him for 31 to give RCB the breakthorugh.

In the seventh over, Kohli was brilliantly run out, when Riyan Parag made a diving stop at point and then his direct hit at the non-striker’s end caught the RCB captain short of his ground.

KS Bharat and Maxwell joined forces and put on a 69 to take RCB closer to victory, cashing in on every scoring opportunity to ensure RCB were never under any run-rate pressure.

Bharat miscued a pull to deep fine leg off Mustafizur in the 16th over after scoring a well-compiled 44, but Maxwell and South African AB de Villiers took RCB over the line.

Earlier, Lewis indulged himself and helped the Royals get off to a flying start with Yashasvi Jaiswal and they reached 50 without loss at the close of the powerplay.

Jaiswal collected two fours in the seventh over off Daniel Christian and then followed it up with a six in the ninth over from the same bowler, who dismissed Jaiswal in the same over to give RCB a much-needed ease.

Lewis brought up his 50 in the 10th over before Royals reached 100 in the next over, but the West Indies opener fell in the 12th over and RCB started to claw their way back into the match.

His dismissal triggered a period of instability in the Royals batting, and they lost six wickets for 27 in the space of 32 balls.

Harshal Patel, who had taken a hat-trick in RCB’s previous match against Mumbai Indians, went on to bowl a sensational three-wicket final over, dismissing Riyan Parag, Chris Morris and Chetan Sakariya as the Royals stumbled in the closing overs.

CMC

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