IPL

Du Plessis and Siraj star as RCB beat Punjab Kings

By Sports Desk April 20, 2023

An impressive knock from Faf du Plessis was followed by a strong performance with the ball from Mohammed Siraj as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Punjab Kings by 24 runs in the Indian Premier League.

An opening partnership of 137 from the first 16 overs between Virat Kohli (59) and Du Plessis (84) put RCB on their way to setting a target of 175.

Kohli was dropped by Jitesh Sharma on 58, but the wicketkeeper made amends in the next over as he superbly reached the ball to his left after an attempted sweep from Kohli nicked a delivery from Harpreet Brar.

With one came two as Glenn Maxwell hit Brar straight to Atharva Taide for a golden duck, before Du Plessis was finally removed when he followed up a six with another big hit against Nathan Ellis, only to leave it short for Sam Curran to catch.

It was an eventful start to the reply, with Atharva clipping Siraj for four from the first ball, before Siraj trapped him lbw with the second after a successful review.

Matthew Short (7) came in and smashed a big six before being bowled by Wanindu Hasaranga, and Siraj again claimed an lbw after a review, removing Liam Livingstone (2).

Siraj was leading the charge, also superbly running out Harpreet Singh Bhatia (13), while Hasaranga managed to do the same to Curran (10) as the Kings sat on 77-5 at the halfway point.

Prabhsimran Singh was at least putting up a fight for his team before he was bowled by Wayne Parnell having hit 46 from 30 balls, while Jitesh was also not willing to give up as he came in and hit 41 from 27.

Siraj bowled Brar (13) and Ellis (1) to halt that momentum though, and Harshal Patel wrapped things up by claiming Jitesh in the final over as the Kings were all out for 150.

No Faf from Du Plessis

It was a big effort from Du Plessis, with the South African smashing five fours and five sixes, with Kohli (one) the only other RCB batter to hit a maximum.

Du Plessis struck a season-high 84 runs from 56 balls, which was his fourth score of 50 or more in this year's competition, the joint-most by any batter along with team-mate Kohli). This was also his ninth 50+ score against the Kings, second to only David Warner (12) in the competition's history.

Stunning Siraj

If Kohli and Du Plessis had laid the table, Siraj cleared it up with 4-21 from his four overs – his best ever IPL figures – including 13 dot balls and wickets in key moments, with Brar arguably the most significant as he and Jitesh threatened to make a late flurry.

He logged a bowling strike rate of 6.0, the joint-best such rate by any bowler in an innings in this season's IPL, as well as producing the brilliant run-out of Bhatia.

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