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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Turning Point: RCB bowlers defend paltry total and how!

Turning Point: RCB bowlers defend paltry total and how!

May 02, 2023 07:43 IST
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On a track that was challenging for the batters, RCB skipper Faf du Plessis top-scored with a knock of 44 off 40

IMAGE: On a track that was challenging for the batters, RCB skipper Faf du Plessis top-scored with a knock of 44 off 40. Photograph: BCCI

After putting on a good bowling performance, Lucknow Super Giants were done in with the bat in their home game against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday.

Games in Lucknow this season have not been high-scoring -- 130-135 being the average score at the venue -- and it was no different on Monday. 

Faf du Plessis opted to bat on winning the toss and they started slowly. Although RCB didn't lose wickets in the Powerplay overs, they were clearly struggling, scoring 42 for no loss in six overs.

 

The wicket was slow with the ball not coming on to the bat.  There was turn and bounce in the wicket and it was only time till a spinner would strike. 

Leggie Ravi Bishnoi got the breakthrough, having Kohli stumped for 30 and breaking the 62-run opening stand.

RCB lost four quick wickets and with the scoreboard reading 92 for 4 in 15 overs, RCB had to find some quick runs to make up for the quiet overs -- overs 9 to 15 produced no boundaries.

Once the players returned on resumption after a brief spell of rain, Dinesh Karthik got going as he struck a four and a six and took a few singles before he was run out for 16 off 11. Those couple of blows did enough to take RCB beyond the 120-run mark.  LSG eventually restricted RCB to a below-par 127 for 9 in their 20 overs. 

Mohammed Siraj celebrates on dismissing LSG opener Kyle Mayers 

IMAGE: Mohammed Siraj celebrates on dismissing LSG opener Kyle Mayers. Photograph: BCCI

Now all RCB needed was a disciplined bowling effort and that is precisely what they achieved. 

LSG were left handicapped when they came out to chase the paltry total on what was a tricky wicket, as captain KL Rahul who injured himself while fielding earlier in the evening, did not open the batting. He is the second-highest scorer this IPL with 274 runs in 9 innings.

That was the first big blow and a huge mental edge to RCB whose bowlers started brilliantly. Siraj is one of the leading wicket-takers this season and he kept his momentum going as he took out LSG opener Kyle Mayers in the very first over. 

Krunal Pandya (14 off 11) came in at No 3 and threatened to play a counter-attacking knock, but his stay at the crease lasted just two overs as he miscued a Maxwell delivery, chipping it to long-off where Kohli completed a good running catch. 

LSG's batters looked all at sea against RCB's bowlers and in the Powerplay overs they were just 34 for 4. 

Krishnappa Gowtham and Marcus Stoinis attempted a mini fight-back before Karn Sharma had Stoinis caught in the deep to end the 27-run stand. 

Glenn Maxwell celebrates the wicket of Krunal Pandya 

IMAGE: Glenn Maxwell celebrates the wicket of Krunal Pandya. Photograph: BCCI

Once Gowtham was run-out in the next over, Amit Mishra and Bishnoi were dealing in singles as the run-rate crept to nine an over.

But with the big runs just not coming, LSG were eventually 18 runs short even though Rahul came out to bat at the fall of the 9th wicket.

RCB's fielding complemented the bowling and the team coasted to a well-deserved victory.

It's a much-needed boost to the team who are still in the fifth spot and their net run-rate needs improvement if they are to qualify for the play-offs. 

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