Just before the toss, Graeme Swann was speaking to Faf du Plessis about how we had all just gotten used to seeing the RCB skipper in the red that has so come to define the team from Bangalore.
Du Plessis responded with a smile and said that he too was just getting used to it. But while the colours have changed, what hasn’t changed is the sheer class of the South African’s batting.
After being put in to bat, RCB lost two wickets in the first over of the match, including a first-ball duck for Virat Kohli, but turned things around courtesy of the kind of innings that we have seen du Plessis play so many times for Chennai.
Du Plessis didn’t panic when his team were reduced to 62/4 and showed the value of his experience by calmly choosing the bowlers he wanted to attack. His first 25 balls yielded just 27 tuns, the next 25 saw him shift up the gears to score 47 runs and then the final 14 balls of his innings, saw him add another 22 runs to his total.
He got some good support Glenn Maxwell (23) and Shahbaz Ahmed (26) but did most of the heavy lifting before being dismissed on 96 (64 balls). RCB finished with 181/6 at the end of their 20 overs.
For LSG, things didn’t exactly go to plan after the good start. Jason Holder claimed 2/25 in his 4 overs but almost everyone else was pretty expensive.
In reply, LSG didn’t get off to a good start either. They lost Quinton de Kock and Manish Pandey early and the others didn’t exactly get going either.
Krunal Pandya and Deepak Hooda stitched together a decent partnership but LSG left themselves with too much to do in the end.
The RCB bowlers were in fine nick and they executed their plans well. The pick of the lot though was Josh Hazlewood, who ended with 4/25 in his four overs. Harshal Patel took a bit of a hammering but in the end, it didn’t matter.