Mohammed Siraj led the charge for Royal Challengers Bangalore as he picked up his career best IPL figures – 4/21 – in what was a complete bowling performance by the visitors in Mohali on Thursday. With crucial wickets and an excellent effort in the field, Siraj was at his best against Punjab Kings.
Earlier, continuing his rich vein of form, Faf Du Plessis plundered 84 off 56 balls despite a rib injury and shared a 137-run stand with opening partner and stand-in captain Virat Kohli.
Defending what was originally deemed to be a sub-par 175, RCB were off to a great start with the ball as Siraj continued his hunt for wickets in the powerplay. He dismissed Atharva Taide (2) in the first over with a peach of a delivery. Wanindu Hasaranga got Matthew Short one over later as PBKS were reduced to 20/2 in 2.1 overs.
Liam Livingstone, playing for the first time this year, was sent packing by Siraj for 2 after yet another successful review. It was an early collapse from PBKS and an inspired bowling and fielding performance from RCB. Two direct hits and the dismissal of Harpreet Singh Bhatia (13) and Sam Curran (10) in the middle overs arrested the chase.
At the death, Siraj picked up two more wickets, with the pole taking a beating on both occasions, dismissing Harpreet Brar (13) and Nathan Ellis (1). Although Jitesh Sharma tried to pull off a heist in the end, scoring 41 off 27, he was the last wicket to fall.
It wa yet another century stand between Kohli and Du Plessis, with the latter coming in for praise for a brilliant knock from the captain for the day. Kohli would say later they decided to rein things in after a fiery powerplay, as they decided the pitch was not made for big hitting.
However, Punjab Kings launched an incredible fightback after that start to limit Royal Challengers Bangalore to 174 for four.
At 91 for no loss in 10 overs, RCB were on course for 200 plus total but Punjab pulled it back in the middle and death overs. RCB could only manage 83 runs off the last 60 balls.
Appearing as an Impact Player for the day, Du Plessis smashed five sixes and as many fours during his 56-ball stay. Kohli, who registered his fourth fifty of the season, also started in fluent fashion but slowed down in the middle overs to finish with 59 off 47.
The rest of the batting line-up was not able to contribute significantly, with no other batting crossing the single digit score. However, as Kohli would later say, the score proved to be enough as the bowling line-up stepped up to defend the total.
Points table after Match 27