When Royal Challengers Bangalore went for Faf du Plessis during the IPL auction earlier this year, they were not only bringing their new skipper on board but also ensuring a 600-plus run-scorer for the season. The former South Africa captain is like a bank for a franchise. Whatever his age may be, du Plessis sees to it that runs flow from his bat.
AS IT HAPPENED | SCORECARD | POINTS TABLE
Tuesday wasn’t any different. Faf scratched at the start and wasn’t able to get going. At the end of the Powerplay, he was batting at 15 off 17 balls. But an experienced batter like him knows the tide does turn. And, the tide turned in the 9th over when Faf smashed Marcus Stoinis for a couple of boundaries to inject some momentum in his as well as the RCB innings. After the Stoinis over, Faf got the big hits going and finished with a sparkling 96 (off 64b; 11×4, 2×6), which propelled RCB to a competitive score of 181/6 against Lucknow Super Giants at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
LSG’s chase was derailed by Josh Hazlewood (4/25), who picked two wickets at the top with the new ball and then came back in the death to send back Ayush Badoni and the dangerous Marcus Stoinis (24 off 15b; 2×4, 1×6). Jason Holder (16 off 9b; 2×6) hit a couple of lusty blows towards the end, but it was too late as RCB won by 18 runs.
The only time Super Giants looked to be in some serious hunt was when skipper KL Rahul (30 off 24b; 3×4, 1×6) and the hard-hitting Krunal Pandya (42 off 28b; 5×4, 2×6) were at the crease. However, both didn’t last the distance.
Earlier, Faf found great support in Shahbaz Ahmed (26 off 22b; 1×4) with whom he added 70 runs for the fifth wicket in just eight overs. Later, Dinesh Karthik (13 off 8b; 1×6) joined Faf in the middle and the pair stitched together 49 runs for the sixth wicket.
Before Faf got going, Lucknow were all over RCB like a rash. The Rahul-led side had reduced RCB to 62/4 by the start of the eighth over. Besides Faf’s brilliance with the bat, the other story of the Bangalore innings was Virat Kohli‘s continuance of bad form.
Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood are all smiles for the #IPLSelfie after @RCBTweets’s win over #LSG.#TATAIPL https://t.co/tBlwUsWe2H
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Kohli walked into the middle in the first over itself after Faf’s opening partner, Anuj Rawat, got dismissed by Dushmantha Chameera. The Sri Lankan fast bowler pitched it up and the ball stopped a bit; Rawat couldn’t keep his drive down and spooned a catch to mid-off.
#PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #IPL2022 #Mission2022 #RCB #ನಮ್ಮRCB #LSGvRCB https://t.co/MoB3CJE2xw
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) 1650394875000
The next ball, Kohli punched an away going short of a length delivery straight to backward point and Deepak Hooda pouched an easy take. It was a first-ball duck for Kohli his fourth in the IPL.