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Top Performers: Siraj, Faf Light Up Mohali

April 21, 2023 11:41 IST
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IMAGE: RCB's two top performers share a light moment. Photograph: BCCI

Royal Challengers Bangalore scripted a 24-run win over Punjab Kings to return to winning ways in the ongoing Indian Premier League season.

Both the Challengers and Kings have had a mixed season so far, and following Thursday's match, both have won three and lost three.

Match 27 was a game of two halves with the two innings belonging to two players.

By the end of the match, the Orange Cap and Purple Cap belonged to the two RCB players who played a key role in the Challengers's third win this season.

RCB were led by former skipper Virat Kohli who was welcomed at the toss with a deafening roar from the crowd.

After being invited to bat, Kohli along with regular skipper Faf du Plessis -- who had been named Impact Player for the match -- handed RCB a strong start. The pair added the second century stand for the season.

Following the Powerplay the Challenger inning slowed down. While Kohli toiled to his half-century, du Plessis, for whom Mohali is a happy hunting ground, accelerated his innings following a slow start.

While du Plessis's knock stole the show in the first half, Mohammed Siraj truly lit up the match with a scintillating spell.

Here's how the two guided RCB to a comfortable win over PBKS.

IMAGE: Faf du Plessis hit another half-century in Mohali. Photograph: BCCI

Faf du Plessis

The Impact Player rule definitely worked in RCB's favour as du Plessis, who had hurt his ribs in the previous match, came into the side just to bat, and not field.

And with his record in Mohali, that was a big plus for the Challengers. The former South African skipper hit some clean sixes as he hammered his fourth 50+ scores from his fourth visit to Mohali.

Du Plessis's overwhelming record against the Kings also stayed intact as four of his top seven knocks in the IPL have come against Punjab.

During Thursday's encounter, du Plessis hammered a 56-ball 84, which was peppered with five boundaries and five clean sixes.

The RCB openers, who put up their second century stand from six games, hammered a 98-ball 137, to guide the visitors to 174/4.

IMAGE: Mohammed Siraj turned in his best figures in the IPL. Photograph: BCCI

Mohammed Siraj

Siraj, who is currently the leading wicket-taker for India in ODIs, delivered with the new ball and at the death overs.

Initially what looked like an achievable target seemed tough after Siraj's first two overs reduced PBKS to 27/3 in 3.2 overs.

Not only did Siraj return with his best IPL figures, he also took a stunning direct catch to send back Harpreet Singh.

It would be safe to say that Siraj, who returned with figures of 4/21, single handedly took the game away from Punjab.

Though the Challengers did have other wicket-takers, the pacer from Hyderabad stole the show.

At the end of the game, du Plessis topped the current batting charts to don the orange cap. Siraj wrore the purple cap as he topped the wicket-takers list.

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