Mohali: An attacking 84 by Faf du Plessis and four wickets by Mohammed Siraj led Royal Challengers Bangalore to a comfortable 24-run win over Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.
Du Plessis and Virat Kohli, who made 59, put together an opening stand of 137 to lay the foundations of Bangalore’s 174-4 after being sent in to bat in the opening match of the day at Mohali.
Siraj then returned impressive figures of 4-21 and forced a run out to dismiss Punjab for 150 in 18.2 overs for Bangalore’s third victory in six matches.
Kohli stood in as captain for du Plessis, who made the team as a batsman due to a rib injury he picked in the previous match and was later substituted under the new impact player rule.
The South African had lived up to the designation with a 56-ball knock laced with five sixes. He tops the tournament’s batting chart with 343 runs, including four half-centuries.
Kohli has a total of 279 runs but Thursday’s knock lacked his usual aggression.
Harpreet Brar broke the marathon stand to have Kohli caught behind and then snared Glenn Maxwell, who attempted to hit out on his first ball but was caught for a duck.
200-plus run hopes
Du Plessis departed in the next over and the Punjab bowlers came back well to keep down Bangalore’s score despite a solid foundation that had raised hopes of a 200-plus total.
Punjab lost wickets regularly in their reply and only Prabhsimran Singh, with a valiant 46 off 30 deliveries, and Jitesh Sharma’s late blitz of 41 represented any real fight.
Siraj got two breakthroughs at the start, including the dangerous England import Liam Livingstone for two, and leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga bowled Australia’s Matthew Short for eight.
Sam Curran, leading the Kings for the second straight game in the absence of injured skipper Shikhar Dhawan, was run out for 10.
Siraj came back to rattle the stumps twice and become the leading bowler in the tournament with 12 wickets.
Rahul fined for slow overrate
Meanwhile, Lucknow Super Giants captain K.L. Rahul has been fined after his team maintained a slow overrate during their match against the Rajasthan Royals.
Rahul was pulled up for a Code of Conduct breach in Match 26 played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur, the Indian Premier League informed in a statement.
“As it was the team’s first offence of the season under the IPL’s Code of Conduct relating to minimum overrate offences, Rahul was fined Rs1.2 million,” the IPL informed in a release on Thursday.
Lucknow Super Giants’ win also helps them level with Rajasthan on points and retain their second place in the points table. It also makes 154/7, the lowest defended total of the season so far.