Sunil Narine's 19-ball 27 was the kind of innings that can leave the fielding side pulling its hair out. Royal Challengers Bangalore had come with a plan: go short, cramp Narine with a leg-stump line, and hold on to their catches. They managed to pull off two out of those three tasks.
Before his eventual dismissal, Narine edged or miscued Tim Southee and Umesh Yadav seven times, and six times the ball narrowly evaded fielders or fell perilously close to them. The ball didn't quite carry to Virat Kohli when he ran in from slip after Narine fended one awkwardly, Brendon McCullum could only get his fingertips to the ball at mid-on when Narine toe-ended a drive, and the ball fell between three fielders running in towards the midwicket region when Narine sliced one in the air off Umesh.
Narine's stint wasn't pretty - he ended up with a control percentage of 43 for the evening - but by the time he was done, he and Chris Lynn had razed 59 runs off RCB's total of 175.
Royal Challengers were bowling with a plan against a man who has hurt them in the past, and were seeing those plans work to a large extent, but they still weren't getting the results.
"It is frustrating when you create those chances and they don't go to hand," McCullum said, during his post-match press conference. "Those guys have played really well against us in the past, and we've put in a lot of effort today. The bowling coaches Ashish Nehra and Andrew McDonald, they've put in a lot of hard work in how we're going to try and bowl at Sunil and Chris and I thought we did it really really well.
"If one of those would've stuck early on, then maybe it could've been a completely different result. All you can do is execute your plans. We had our chances and unfortunately missed them."
If Narine frustrated Royal Challengers by teasing their fielders, Lynn gave them a clear-cut chance. Still finding his footsteps in the 2018 season after returning from a shoulder injury, he was on 7 when he looked to flick Yuzvendra Chahal and sent a leading edge towards extra-cover. M Ashwin, on RCB debut, couldn't hold on to a straightforward chance, however, and the broadcasters did well to not show Virat Kohli's reaction when the catch went down. There was plenty of effort from the bowlers but with no reward as KKR finished the Powerplay with all their wickets still in hand.
"I think we bowled really well," McCullum said. "If we look at the figures that may tell a different story but the way we executed our plans, we created chances, we just didn't execute those chances. I thought our bowling, it was probably the best ten overs we've had as a group. We just didn't back them up with our fielding."
Lynn went on to score his second fifty in three games and anchor a tricky chase. After a 33-minute rain delay, the ball began to skid as well as turn appreciably, and Lynn used the sweep in particular to good effect, using his big stride to get close to the pitch of the ball and upset the spinners' lengths. In all, he scored 23 off 18 balls with the sweep, and though that isn't a particularly frightening strike rate, he was able to get off strike with the shot and allow better players of spin to take over. It also showed Lynn's ability to curb his shots and ensure KKR didn't lose wickets in a cluster.
"It wasn't typical Twenty20 wicket with the ball flying around, so we had to find a way," Lynn said. "For me it was, yeah, the sweep shot. Get to the other end. It was challenging, but we had one bloke anchoring the innings, while blokes like Robin and DK (Dinesh Karthik) play little crucial knocks.
"It's important for someone to play that anchoring role, and someone chips in with a couple of boundaries and really get that momentum back. In the past we've sort of lost back-to-back wickets, but tonight we didn't do that. I was happy to finish not out and get the team home. I was glad to build through and gain a little bit of confidence on the inside and hopefully I can consistently do that in the back end."