Blazing half-centuries by Jonny Bairstow (66 off 29 balls) and Liam Livingstone (70 off 42 balls) followed by a clinical bowling performance helped Punjab Kings thrash Royal Challengers Bangalore by 54 runs in Match 60 of IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.
Bairstow started the early carnage on a freaky Friday against Royal Challengers Bangalore, completing his half-century in 21 deliveries, after RCB won the toss and elected to bowl first. Livingstone took up the scoring mantle later, hitting a 42-ball 70 as he held the innings together to help Punjab Kings post 209/9 in 20 overs.
In reply, Royal Challengers Bangalore tried to match their scoring rate initially but lost wickets at regular intervals as their chase derailed against some disciplined bowling by the Punjab Kings bowlers, especially Rishi Dhawan (2/36), Kagiso Rabada (2/16) and Rahul Chahar (2/37).
They were eventually restricted to 155/9 in 20 overs as the Punjab Kings bowlers kept them under a tight leash and did not allow them to free their arms.
Chasing a target of 210, Royal Challengers Bangalore started off well with Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis raising 33 runs in the fourth over when the former India captain, who was given out by the video umpire. Punjab Kings opted for DRS after Kohli tried to work a ball off his hips but it ballooned off the body to short fine-leg, Ultra-edge showing a spike as the ball passed his gloves.
The wicket broke the momentum as RCB were cruising with Kohli hitting some superb shots and du Plessis complementing him well. After a quiet first over, Kohli had struck Arshdeep Singh to two fours, the first one a superb punch through the extra cover to the boundary and the second a wristy flick through mid-wicket.
He danced down the wicket to Harpreet Brar and lifted him over long-on for his first six. But his departure followed by du Plessis’ departure a run later had RCB reeling at 34/2 and when Rishi Dhawan accounted for Mahipal Lomror in the fifth over, RCB were 40/3.
Rajat Patidar and Glenn Maxwell raised 64 runs for the fourth wicket, both hitting boundaries regularly to keep the spiralling run rate in check. Maxwell top-scored with 35 runs off 22 deliveries, hitting three fours and one six. Patidar scored 26 runs off 21 deliveries, hitting one four and two sixes.
Both of them got out on the same score (104) — Maxwell was caught by Arshdeep Singh at long-off off Harpreet Brar as he went for a big hit after Patidar was caught by Shikhar Dhawan off Rahul Chahar in the 11th over.
That partnership was the only positive thing for RCB in the entire evening as they lost by a big margin.
Earlier, Bairstow started in fourth gear as he launched an astonishing attack in the powerplay, blasting seven sixes as Punjab Kings piled up 83/1in the first six overs — the highest this season. It was the sixth-highest powerplay score in IPL history — the list led by Kolkata Knight Riders, who had blasted 105/0 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2017.
And they had Bairstow to thank for that brilliant start as the England batter launched an early assault, feasting on some innocuous bowling as he was fed short balls on middle and leg stump initially and later he started picking those on the off and pulling them across the line to the square -leg region.
He made his intentions clear with a six off Glenn Maxwell in the first over and then waded into Josh Hazlewood in the second, hammering him for two sixes and two fours for 20 runs. With Shikhar Dhawan taking a single and a wide, the over cost RCB 22 runs. He jumped out and swung Hazlewood from around his front pad and deposited him high over cow corner. After the Aussie pacer send down a wide, Bairstow blasted the next legal delivery for a huge six over square-leg, hitting across the line once again.
Faf du Plessis responded by taking off Hazlewood and bringing in Mohammad Siraj but Bairstow pulled him flat over square-leg for a six off the third delivery. An over later, he hammered Siraj for three sixes, swatting his back of the length delivery well over long-on, flicking off his toes for another effortless six that brought his half-century in 21 deliveries and smashing the last ball of the over flat over the mid-wicket boundary. With Bairstow dispatching the first ball of the over from a boundary, the over cost 23 runs in all as Siraj had bowled a beamer too.
He shared a 60-run partnership with Dhawan (21, 15 balls, 4 x 2, 6 x1), the India opener enjoying the carnage from the best seat available in the stadium before attempting a slog-sweep off Maxwell, missing it completely and the ball hit the stumps.
Led by Wanindu Hasranga, who gave away three runs while claiming the wicket of Rajapaksa in the seventh over, Royal Challengers applied the brakes on the free-scoring Punjab Kings as the middle overs from seven to 15 cost them only 40/3. Punjab Kings lost Bhanuka Rajapaksa (1), Bairstow (66) and skipper Mayank Agarwal (19) in this period.
But Livingstone, who had built his innings with caution, unleashed some superb shots late in the innings, hitting Josh Hazlewood for two fours and two sixes to take 24 runs off the 19th over. In all, Livingstone struck five fours and four sixes in his 42-ball knock. He and Mayank Agarwal raised 51 runs for the fourth wicket as PBKS crossed the 150-run mark in the 15th over. Livingstone was out in the final over, trying to hit Harshal Patel over short-third man but Dinesh Karthik snatched the mistimed skier.