Mumbai: Faf du Plessis blistering knock went went in vain as Punjab Kings batters showed their power-hitting ability and hammered Royal Challengers Bangalore by five wickets in a high scoring 3rd match of the IPL 2022 at DY Patil Sports Academy, here on Sunday.
After being invited to bat first, skipper Faf du Plessis (88 off 57), Virat Kohli (41 not out off 29) and Dinesh Karthik (32 not out off 14) powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to 205-2 in 20 overs.
Chasing a huge target, openers Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan gave Punjab a solid start. Both Mayank and Shikhar looked in solid touch and played some glorious shots, taking Punjab to 64/0 after 6 overs. With things looking good for Punjab, RCB skipper Plessis brought Wanindu Hasaranga into the attack and he dismissed Mayank (24)in his first ball of the season.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa then joined Dhawan at the crease and both kept the momentum going. Sri Lankan Rajapaksa, who was playing his debut IPL match, targeted his countryman Hasaranga for a six and a four and took 13 runs off the over. The run-feast continued as both Rajapaksa and Dhawan smashed pacer Akash Deep for 19 runs and took Punjab for 116/1 after 11 overs. The pair added 47 runs for the second wicket before Harshal Patel provided RCB with their second breakthrough, removing Shikhar on 43.
Thereafter, it was Rajapaksa and Liam Livingstone’s responsibility to keep Punjab in the run chase and continued that with hitting regular boundaries. But Siraj stalled Punjab’s charge in the 14th over by picking up the wickets of the dangerous Rajapaksa (43) and Raj Bawa (0) in successive deliveries.
Liam Livingstone (19 off 10) was also in attacking mode and played some glorious shots before getting out to Akash Deep courtesy a stunning catch by Anuj Rawat. However, the power-hitting didn’t stop from Punjab as lower down the order Shahrukh Khan (24) and Odean Smith (25) played some lovely strokes, remained unbeaten and helped Punjab chase down the target with one over to spare and five wickets in hand.
Mohammed Siraj was the highest wicketer as well as a most expensive bowler for RCB with his figures of 2/59.
Earlier, openers Faf du Plessis and Anuj Rawat gave RCB a good start. Playing their debut match for the franchise, both batters played some good shots, hit few boundaries and took RCB to 41-0 at the end of 6 overs. However, Rawat could carry his innings longer after the powerplay and was cleaned up by Rahul Chahar. The southpaw, who was looking to take the attack to the PBKS bowlers, missed a slog sweep and got out after scoring 21 off 20.
The wicket brought former RCB skipper Virat Kohli at the crease. The star batter took some time to assess the condition while Chahar created some trouble for du Plessis in his over. After a few quiet overs, Kohli decided to break the shackles and charged down the track and smashed Harpreet Brar for a six over the long-on fence.
Soon, Du Plessis also changed his gears and smashed Odean Smith for 23 runs in the 13th over. During the process, the South African also scored his first fifty as a RCB player and captain. Both Faf and Kohli then combined to hit three sixes in spinner Harpreet Brar and as RCB raced to 136/1 after 14 overs.
The pair of Kohli and Du Plessis kept the scoreboard ticking as they dealt in both boundaries and running between the wickets. Continuing his aggressive approach, Faf du Plessis hit Sandeep Sharma for 10 runs as RCB looked set for a big total.
With only three overs to go, the Faf du Plessis show finally came to an end as he was caught at long-off by Shahrukh Khan off Arshdeep Singh’s bowling. Du Plessis departed after scoring 88 off 57 and stitched an 118 stand for the second wicket with Kohli. Thereafter, Dinesh Karthik joined Kohli and he immediately took over from where Faf left.
The wicket-keeper batter along with Kohli took Odean Smith to cleaners as 18 runs came off from the penultimate over of the innings. Continuing his onslaught, Karthik also hit Sandeep Sharma for two boundaries and one six and helped RCB finish at 205-2 in 20 overs.
For Punjab Kings, Rahul Chahar (1/22) and Arshdeep Singh (1/31) took a wicket apiece.
Brief scores: RCB: 205-2 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 88, Virat Kohli 41; Rahul Chahar 1/22) vs PBKS: 208/5 in 19 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 43, Bhanuka Rajapaksa 43; Mohammed Siraj 2/59)