The Punjab Kings (PBKS) saw their overseas stars deliver great performances as they sealed a massive 54-point win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in what was a must-attend encounter for the franchise at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai on Friday, May 13. .
Player of the Match Jonny Bairstow (66 from 29) gave PBKS a quick start before handing over to Liam Livingstone (70 from 42) as the two Englishmen helped fire Punjab to a dominating tally of 209/ 9.
Kagiso Rabada (3/21) then collected wickets at regular intervals as Punjab sealed an important 54 run victory to stay alive in the competition.
RCB’s defeat means that if they still hold on to fourth place, they can now be kicked out as they have just one game left in the group stages.
RCB’s chase got off to a quick start as Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli fired them 31/0 in the first three overs. However, Kohli’s bad luck continued as Kagiso Rabada entered the attack and immediately got the breakthrough in the 4th.
Kohli (20 from 14 balls) failed to put a bat on the ball looking for a shot, but the ball just grazed his glove before hitting him in the hip and carrying it to the short-legged defender and fine.
du Plessis (10) followed him to the dugout in the next set as Rishi Dhawan (2/36) entered the attack and got him behind. Mahipal Lomror (6) came out and took off with a six but Rishi sent it back on the next ball with a short, crisp delivery to reduce the RCB to 41/3 after 5 overs.
Glenn Maxwell and Rajat Patildar helped stabilize RCB with a strong partnership of 64 runs on 37 balls. However, the pair were split in the 11th as Rahul Chahar attempted Patidar (26) in a wild slog and the RCB hitter only found the man at long range.
Harpreet Brar (1/33) then sent Maxwell (35 from 22 balls) packing in the next over with RCB reduced to 106/5 after 12 overs. However, with Dinesh Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed in the crease, RCB still had hope but Arshdeep Singh and Rabada struck in record time to put the match beyond doubt.
Arshdeep (1/27) caught Karthik (11) with a thin short leg in the 15th and Rabada then got rid of Shahbaz (9) in the very next.
Chahar (2/37) then doubled his tally with the wicket of Hasaranga (1) in the 17th with Harpreet Brar taking a superb hold in the middle of the deep wicket. Brar jumped back to grab the ball with both hands at the edge of the boundary, then had the presence of mind to lob it inside as his momentum carried it over the ropes before coming back to finish the capture.
Rabada (3/21) capped off an impressive night by asking Harshal Patel (11) to slice a short delivery for extra coverage as RCB could only manage 155/9 in response.
Earlier at the Toss, du Plessis won the Toss and opted to play as RCB named an unchanged team. PBKS made a change with Harpreet Brar in place of Sandeep Sharma.
Bairstow got off to a good start with a six against Maxwell in the first round and he then hammered 2 fours and 2 sixes against Josh Hazlewood in the 2nd over. His blistering start saw PBKS hit the 50-point mark in 4 overs.
Shikhar Dhawan (21 from 15 balls) couldn’t match his opening partner’s aggression, however, and was castled as he looked to attack Maxwell on the 5th. Bairstow then hit Mohammed Siraj for a four and 3 six in the 6th to elevate his half-century with just 21 balls and help PBKS go 83/1 on the power play.
Wanindu Hasaranga entered the attack on the 7th and struck immediately as he caught Sri Lankan teammate Bhanuka Rajapaksa (1) on the third man short.
Shahbaz Ahmed then stunned Bairstow in the 10th with fly-half PBKS coming back with 66 from 29 after hitting 4 fours and 7 sixes.
Mayank Agarwal (19) got off to a good start but was knocked out by Harshal Patel in the 15th.
Hasaranga meanwhile wrapped up an impressive 2/15 spell when he got rid of Jitesh Sharma (9) in the 17th. His two wickets also saw him take his season total to 23 wickets and battle the Purple Cap away from Yuzvendra Chahal.
Harshal came back on the attack in the 18th and caught Harpreet Brar (7), but nothing could stop Liam Livingstone who lifted his fiftieth birthday with a limit against Hazlewood on the 1st ball in the 19th. He then celebrated by slamming Hazlewood for 2 sixes and four more in the over as the Aussie pacer finished with horrendous 0/64 numbers.
Livingstone (70 from 42 balls) was eventually dismissed by Harshal (4/34) in the final and the RCB playmaker also pocketed the wicket of Rishi Dhawan (7) in the over before Rahul Chahar ran out in the final. final delivery as PBKS. posted a massive total of 209/9.