Navi Mumbai, April 20: A fine strike from Faf du Plessis (96 of 64) followed by a sensational bowling effort from Josh Hazlewood (4/25) took Royal Challengers Bangalore to a hard-fought 18-run victory over Lucknow Super Giants in an IPL 2022 match at the DY Patil Stadium, here on Tuesday.
It was RCB’s fifth victory in the current IPL season and they jumped to second place in the table with 10 points.
Leading from the front, captain du Plessis played a tremendous stroke (96 for 64) and led Royal Challengers Bangalore to 181-6 in 20 overs. Invited to bat first, RCB got off to a terrible start as they lost three wickets: Anuj Rawat (4), Virat Kohli (0) and Glenn Maxwell (23) inside the power play. At 44/3 after 5.2 overs, RCB were in trouble, but du Plessis took over the batting role during innings.
He anchored the innings perfectly by joining a crucial 70-run position for the fifth wicket with Shahbaz Ahmed (26) and a 49-run partnership with Dinesh Karthik (13 not out of 8) for the sixth wicket, helping RCB to post totally competitive. He was out on the penultimate ball of the final over.
Chasing a competitive total, Lucknow did not get off to a good start as Josh Hazlewood sent Quinton de Kock (3) back to the pavilion in the third over of innings. Manish Pandey (6), who was up next, couldn’t do much either, falling to a long ball thrown by Hazlewood as LSG fell to 33-2.
From there, KL Rahul and Krunal Pandya needed to rebuild Lucknow’s innings and they did so by adding 31 for the third wicket in just three overs before Harshal Patel picked up the LSG captain’s prized wicket with one on the side of his leg. .
Rahul (30 of 24) was looking to defend the ball, but gave the goalkeeper a slight advantage on the side of the leg. The keeper never appealed but the RCB went to review and was correct in its decision.
After Rahul’s wicket, Krunal took over the LSG chase and played his shots to keep his side’s hopes alive. However, Deepak Hooda (13) struggled at the other end and couldn’t keep the scoreboard going and their fight finally ended with Siraj’s third over. LSG slipped further into the chase when Glenn Maxwell sacked Krunal Pandya (42 of 28) in the 14th.
The interest rate rose steadily and Lucknow needed a special effort from their lower order batsmen. With 54 needed in the last 4 overs, youngster Ayush Badoni (13) had to take a chance, but cut off a Hazlewood delivery to Dinesh Karthik as he played an adventurous shot. Badoni’s wicket brought Jason Holder into the crease with Marcus Stoinis. The two batsmen faced a severe challenge at Hazlewood and Harshal in the death overs.
Continuing his excellent bowling spell, Hazlewood dropped Stoinis in the 19th. In the end, it was too much for Holder (16 for 8) and Dushmantha Chameera (1 not out) as Lucknow was limited to 163/8 in 20 overs, losing for 18 runs. In addition to Hazlewood, Harshal Patel (47/2), Glenn Maxwell (1/11) and Mohammed Siraj (1/31) have also chosen important land for RCB.
Earlier in the day, on the fifth ball of the first over of the innings, Dushmantha Chameera gave Lucknow their first breakthrough by taking out Anuj Rawat (4), who wanted to clear the middle but didn’t connect well when KL Rahul took a good low catch.
Virat Kohli, who was next to bat, went for a first-ball duck in the next installment of the same over. It was a back-of-a-length outside of the delivery and Kohli just pushed that for a simple catch on the fielder at the point.
At 7-2 after the end of the first over, RCB was in deep trouble but skipper Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell decided to fight back. Both batsmen were finding the limits in almost every overs and also rotated the strike well to get RCB back on track.
But Krunal Pandya struck on the latter part of the power play to end promising innings from Maxwell (23 of 11), who came out while attempting a reverse sweep as Jason Holder ripped a stunner inside the 30-yard circle. The next batsman, Suyash Prabhudessai (10), didn’t last long either, as Holder sacked him to cut the RCB to 62-4 after 7.2 overs.
From there, du Plessis needed support from the other winger and Shahbaz Ahmed did it perfectly. The duo mixed caution with aggression and pushed the limits along with their attacking rotation to lead RCB’s comeback. Du Plessis, in particular, was very aggressive against Ravi Bishnoi, dishing out fours and sixes against the leg spinner to take his half-century in 40 balls in the 14th.
With du Plessis and Shahbaz in the crease, RCB were looking for a strong finish. But an excellent fielding effort by KL Rahul ended Shahbaz’s tenure in the middle, as he ran out 26.
After Shahbaz’s wicket, the veteran Proteas batsman switched gears in the slog overs and together with the in-form Dinesh Karthik (13 not out), led RCB to 181-6 in the stipulated 20 overs. Du Plessis came close to scoring his first IPL century, but Holder fired him with one ball left in the innings, the second time he has gone out for 96 in the IPL.
Jason Holder (2/25) and Dushmantha Chameera (2/31) each picked two wickets, while Krunal Pandya (1/29) earned one wicket for Lucknow.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 181/6 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 96, Shahbaz Ahmed 26; Jason Holder 2/25) beat Lucknow Super Giants 163/8 in 20 overs (Krunal Pandya 42, KL Rahul 30; Josh Hazlewood 4/25) for 18 races