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IPL 2023: RCB gain as Du Plessis-Max reign

Updated on: 24 April,2023 07:27 AM IST  |  Bangalore
R Kaushik |

Faf (39-ball 62) and Glenn (44-ball 77) put on 127 for the third wicket to help Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Rajasthan Royals by seven runs

IPL 2023: RCB gain as Du Plessis-Max reign

RCB’s Faf du Plessis (left) and Glenn Maxwell during their 127-run stand against RR in Bangalore yesterday. Pic/AFP

The deafening sound of silence reverberated around a packed M Chinnaswamy Stadium, just one ball into Sunday’s afternoon fixture of the Indian Premier League. Off that first delivery, Trent Boult, the crack Rajasthan Royals paceman, produced a peach of an inswinger to beat Virat Kohli on the inside edge and trap him plumb in front.

Wave of green

The Royal Challengers Bangalore followers, who had bathed the venue in a wave of green to match the jerseys worn by the team, feared the worst. At the end of an error-strewn evening, those fears proved unfounded as the home team won a second consecutive match for the first time this season, eking out a seven-run victory on the back of a strong bowling display.

Kohli’s fall, and that of Shahbaz Ahmad, also to Boult, had left them floundering at 12 for two in the third over when the old firm of Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell bailed them out, again. Just how influential these two, and Kohli, have been this season was evidenced by the RCB meltdown in the final fourth of their innings. Only 33 runs came in the last five overs for the loss of five wickets, but du Plessis and the effervescent Maxwell had done enough between them while adding 127 for the third wicket, the bedrock around which RCB constructed 189 for nine upon being put in by Sanju Samson.

Mohammed Siraj pulled off a Boult encore in the first over of the Rajasthan chase, producing a sensational breakback off a wobble seam delivery to dismiss Jos Buttler for a second-ball duck, the Englishman’s second zero in three innings. Their talisman out of the way, RR remained unfazed, riding on a second-wicket alliance of 98 between left-handers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Devdutt Padikkal to stay in contention.

However, RCB had several bowling aces up their sleeve, not least Harshal Patel and David Willey, who both stepped in to build on the good work of leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. Rajasthan went off the boil between overs 11 and 15 when they made just 29, and 69 off the last five overs proved beyond them despite another bruising cameo from Dhruv Jurel as they settled for 182 for six. Jurel’s knock, however, was only a footnote to the du Plessis-Maxwell show. 

Also Read: CSK thrive on RCB’s inexperienced lower order

Sheer power and aggression

Du Plessis, the captain for the season, but playing only as a batsman again owing to a rib injury, played with characteristic freedom, but it was Maxwell, all raw power and brazen aggression, who took the lead role with several awe-inspiring strokes. Yuzvendra Chahal, the former RCB star, alone kept his one-time teammate in check; otherwise, Maxwell got on top of everyone else on his way to a third fifty in five innings, and the Player of the Match honours.

Brief scores
RCB 189-9 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 62, Glenn Maxwell 77; Trent Boult  2-41, Sandeep Sharma 2-49) beat RR 182-6 in 20 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 47, Devdutt Padikkal 52; Harshal Patel 3-32) by 7 runs

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