IPL Clash: Punjab pull off staggering win over RCB
Mumbai: Regardless of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) setting a mammoth target of 206 runs, Punjab Kings crossed the finishing line with an over to spare, despite none in their side notched up a fifty in Match 3 of this year's IPL at the DY Patil Stadium here on Sunday.
Almost everyone came to the party. Mayank Agarwal, Bhanuka Rajapska and Shikhar Dhawan batted with a positive mindset at the top and Shahrukh Khan (24 off 20) and Odean Smith helped Punjab chase down the target with ease at the end.
RCB had plenty of runs to defend, but the Dhawan-Agarwal partnership spoiled their dreams early on. They were off to a flier laying a solid foundation. Punjab lost wickets at regular intervals but kept themselves in the hunt. They were lucky not to have lost Smith.
RCB dropped him when things were tight for Punjab, but Smith grabbed the opportunity to whack an explosive 25 runs off just 8 balls.
Chasing 206 runs target, Mayank and Shikhar gave Punjab the much needed start adding 71 runs for the first wicket in just 7.1 overs.
Wanindu Hasaranga then broke the stand, dismissing Mayank on 32 off 24 balls in his first ball of the season.
Dhawan and Rajapaksa then added 47 runs for the second wicket before Harshal Patel provided RCB with their second breakthrough, removing the Indian on 43 off 29 balls.
Rajapaksa also scored 43 in 22 balls before getting out to Mohammed Siraj, who then went to dismiss India's U-19 star Raj Angad Bawa next ball. Earlier, Captain Faf Du Plessis' stormy 88 and Dinesh Karthik's whirlwind 32 powered RCB to 205 for 2 after they were sent into bat by Punjab.
Faf's innings was of two extremes. In the powerplay, he struggled to get going as he found fielders, but raised the tempo with a six off Liam Livingstone.
The South African scored his first 17 runs off 30 balls, but smashed 34 in the next 11 balls to race to his fifty on an RCB debut.
He did not stop there. Batting at will, he took to cleaners Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh and Odean Smith.
The new RCB captain punished them to all corners before Shahrukh Khan redeemed with a stunning catch to end his innings coming off 57 balls. Notably, his last 61 runs came off 27 balls.
For a change, Virat Kohli played second fiddle (41 No.), first in the company of Faf and then with Karthik.
As soon Karthik walked into the middle, he put Punjab bowlers to sword which he does with aplomb at death. He got to his unbeaten 32 off just 14 balls with three sixes and as many boundaries.
Amid all this, Rahul Chahar conceded just 22 runs and bagged a wicket for Punjab. Put into bat, RCB were off to a good start.
Faf scored the first boundary by picking Sandeep Sharma over midwicket. Anuj Rawat (21) heaved a six off Sandeep to get off the mark. Shahrukh Khan dropped a straightforward chance at short midwicket, giving Faf a life, which proved costly for Punjab.
It was a bit of a struggle for the RCB openers in the powerplay, but Faf and Rawat picked up pace and helped bring up 50 runs partnership for the first wicket. Rawat was cleaned up by Chahar as he looked to take the attack to Punjab bowlers, missing a slog sweep.