Punjab Kings (PBKS) stayed alive in the IPL 2022 playoffs race with a 54-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Brabourne Stadium on Friday.
Chasing 210, RCB began confidently. Virat Kohli's (20, 14b, 2x4, 1x6) poor form has continued for so long that a push for a single off the first ball drew big cheers from the crowd. The noise levels subsequently rose to a crescendo as Kohli smashed two fours and a six. But the celebrations were short-lived with Kohli getting caught off Kagiso Rabada (three for 21) in the fourth over.
Though initially given not out, the decision was overturned on review. Rishi Dhawan (two for 36) then struck twice in his first over to remove Faf du Plessis and Mahipal Lomror. With Royal Challengers 44 for three in six overs, Glenn Maxwell (35, 22b, 3x4, 1x6) and Rajat Patidar (26, 21b, 1x4, 2x6) took on Rahul Chahar, plundering 18 off his first. The two brought up the fifty partnership in 29 balls. But Chahar and Harpreet Brar struck in consecutive overs to remove Patidar and Maxwell, respectively.
That brought Dinesh Karthik to the crease and with it, hopes of a late RCB flourish. But with 92 needed, Arshdeep Singh bowled a brilliant 15th over to dismiss Karthik and put the match beyond RCB's reach.
Earlier, Jonny Bairstow (66, 29b, 4x4, 7x6) and Liam Livingstone (70, 42b, 5x4, 4x6) catapulted Kings to 209 for nine. Kings have the second-best run rate of 9.12 among all teams in the PowerPlay so far. Openers Jonny Bairstow and Shikhar Dhawan showed just why in a rousing start.
Maxwell opened the bowling and Bairstow lofted him down the ground for six. He then punished Josh Hazlewood (4-0-64-0), slamming two sixes and two fours in his first over. As good as he has been this IPL, Hazlewood has gone wicketless while going at a touch over 11 in the previous games here.
Bairstow versus Hazlewood was thus the ideal match-up for Kings, one that they won emphatically. Mohammed Siraj wasn’t spared either. In a 23-run sixth over, Bairstow hit three sixes and a four while racking up a 21-ball 50. He was eventually caught off Shahbaz Ahmed’s bowling.
Bairstow’s knock was bookended by Dhawan's 15-ball 21 before the latter was clean bowled by Maxwell. RCB kept things quiet between overs nine and 11, but Livingstone’s 51-run stand with Mayank Agarwal ensured that the innings didn’t lose momentum.
Livingstone tore into Hazlewood, hitting him for two fours and two sixes in a 24-run 19th over. He was caught off Harshal Patel (four for 34) in the final over but as it turned out, his innings had sealed RCB's fate.