Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Faf du Plessis on Tuesday heaped praise on all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed for his match-winning innings against Rajasthan Royals. Ahmed played a brilliant innings of 45 runs in 26 balls and shared a crucial partnership with Dinesh Karthik for the sixth wicket. The duo added 67 runs together to save RCB from being reduced to 87 for 5 while chasing a target of 170.
Praising the youngster at the post-match presentation ceremony, du Plessis said, “He’s incredible – people think he’s a skinny guy and can’t hit the long ball, but he can hit it big. People have been supporting him for a long time. Even with left arm spin. Today we realized that the ball was wet and batting lefty was not the ideal matchup.
The RCB captain conceded that the target set by RR was on par, but his team managed to chase it with confidence. Du Plessis said the RCB bowlers did very well to keep Rajasthan’s score under control till the 18th over but in the end some brilliant shots from Jos Buttler took the score to 169.
Buttler scored an unbeaten 70 off just 47 balls and shared a crucial 83-run stand with Shimron Hetmyer for the fourth wicket. While Rajasthan seemed to be struggling to accelerate the run rate till the 18th over, some last minute fireworks by the batsmen set Rajasthan a target of 170 runs. Rajasthan Royals scored 42 runs in the last two overs of their innings.
Despite batting failure in the middle overs, RCB chased down the target with 5 balls to spare. Shahbaz Ahmed emerged as the highest scorer for the Bangalore team, while Dinesh Karthik was proving his credentials as a finisher with an unbeaten 44 off 23 balls.
With 4 points from their 3 matches, RCB are currently at number six in the points table, while Rajasthan Royals are at the top with a better run rate.