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27th Match (D/N), Mohali, April 20, 2023, Indian Premier League
(18.2/20 ov, T:175) 150

RCB won by 24 runs

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
116.03 ptsImpact List

Du Plessis and Siraj work their magic in Royal Challengers Bangalore victory

Punjab Kings fell well short of a target of 174 on a pitch which was hard to bat on

Deivarayan Muthu
Royal Challengers Bangalore 174 for 4 (Du Plessis 84, Kohli 59, Brar 2-31) beat Punjab Kings 150 (Prabhsimran 46, Jitesh 41, Siraj 4-21) by 24 runs
Faf du Plessis revealed that he wouldn't have played this game had the Impact Player rule not been in place. His bruised rib was causing too many problems. But the new rules gave him the chance to affect the game with just his batting and that's what he did. Handing over the captaincy to Virat Kohli so he could play as a substitute, he hit 84 off 56 balls on a sluggish Mohali pitch to haul Royal Challengers Bangalore to 174 for 4, despite a late slowdown. Then he just rested in the dugout and watched Mohammed Siraj excel in both the powerplay and death to help them defend that total.
Royal Challengers had managed only 37 for 4 in their last four overs after being on 137 for 0 in 16 overs. However, they dominated the powerplay - both with bat and then ball - to hold off Punjab Kings and give their campaign a leg-up after a narrow defeat against Chennai Super Kings at home.

The opening salvo

After a sedate start - du Plessis was on 3 off 7 balls at one point - he manufactured swinging room against left-arm fingerspinner Harpreet Brar and launched him over his head for six. Two balls later, he created more room and bludgeoned him over midwicket for six more. Kohli had also started strongly, driving Brar and then pulling the seamers for fours, as Royal Challengers ran away to 59 for 0 in the powerplay. Du Plessis batted with similar high intent even beyond the powerplay and went onto bring up his half-century off 31 balls.

The slowdown

Kohli, though, slowed down after the powerplay especially against legspinner Rahul Chahar and the slower variations of Sam Curran. After being on 29 off 19 balls at the end of the powerplay, he managed only 30 off his next 28 balls.
His innings ended - and Kings finally broke through - when he spliced a sweep off Brar, with wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma completing a stunning one-handed catch. Brar then had Glenn Maxwell holing out for a duck next ball and then Nathan Ellis, picked ahead of Kagiso Rabada, tricked du Plessis with a slower variation to shut down Royal Challengers at the death.
They were 91 for 0 in ten overs and later 137 for 0 in 16 overs but ended up with what seemed like a sub-par total at that stage. In the end, it would prove to be 24 too many for Kings.

Siraj bosses the powerplay and death

Royal Challengers quickly regained lost ground when Siraj struck twice in the powerplay to trap both Atharva Taide (4) and the returning Liam Livingstone (2). With those two wickets, Siraj took his powerplay tally this season up to six. No other bowler has more wickets during this phase in IPL 2023.
After finding late inswing in the early exchanges, Siraj returned in the death to wrap up Kings' chase. Jitesh's late blows had given Kings a sliver of hope, narrowing the equation to 30 off 18 balls, but Siraj knocked over Brar and Ellis in an 18th over that cost only four runs. Siraj was also at it in the field, effecting a direct hit from mid-off to catch Harpreet Bhatia short at the non-striker's end.

Jitesh, Prabhsimran flicker for Kings

That Kings got this close to the target from being 43 for 4 in the powerplay was down to contributions from their Impact Player Prabhsimran Singh and finisher Jitesh. Even as five wickets fell around him, Prabhsimran went after the RCB attack. He was particularly severe on Wanindu Hasaranga, taking him for 18 off eight balls. But when he fell four short of a half-century, the chase slipped further away from Kings' reach.
Jitesh briefly kept Kings in the chase with his own counterattack, but Siraj and Harshal Patel eventually dismissed them for 150 and dragged RCB up to fifth on the standings.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
RCB 100%
100%50%100%RCB InningsPBKS Innings

Over 19 • PBKS 150/10

Jitesh Sharma c Shahbaz Ahmed b Patel 41 (27b 2x4 3x6 48m) SR: 151.85
RCB won by 24 runs
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