Du Plessis, Hazlewood guide RCB to 18-run win

Mumbai, April 19 : Captain’s knock from Faf du Plessis (96) and Josh Hazlewood’s four-wicket haul helped Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to beat Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 18 runs here at the DY Patil Sports Academy on Tuesday. The RCB skipper smashed 11 boundaries and two sixes in his 64-ball innings to take his side to 181/6. In reply, barring KL Rahul (30), Krunal Pandya (42) and Marcus Stoinis (24), no other LSG batter could manage to chip. And Hazlewood (4/25) and Harshal Patel’s (2/47) brilliance restricted LSG to 163/8. RCB made early inroads and dented LSG’s 182-run target chase. Hazlewood stuck twice in the Powerplay, removing Quinton de Kock (3) and Manish Pandey (6). Although Rahul looked in great form, an impressive review fetched Patel a wicket. The UltraEdge confirmed a murmur as the ball passed the bat, which even left Rahul surprised. Pandya kept the scoreboard ticking but desperately needed some support from the other end. However, RCB seamers Hazlewood and Mohammed Siraj had other plans. Pandya eventually fell to Glenn Maxwell as he holed out to deep midwicket. While Stoinis and Jason Holder were in the middle, LSG’s hopes were still alive. Stoinis, who was already miffed with the on-field umpire for not calling the second ball of the 19th over as wide, was cleaned up by his Australian compatriot Hazlewood on the next ball. Stoinis looked to play a full ball into the leg side but ended up inside-edging onto his stumps. With 30 runs needed off the final over, Holder was able to smash two maximums before he gave a catch at deep fine leg off the bowling of Patel. Earlier in the day, du Plessis lost his opening partner Anuj Rawat and then No.3 batter Virat Kohli cheaply in the very first over. With onus on him, du Plessis anchored the innings until Holder denied him a century on the second last ball. Dushmantha Chameera stuck early, removing Rawat (4) who mistimed the fuller delivery and Rahul caught him at mid-off. In no time Chameera made it two-in-two as Kohli walked back for a golden duck. On an outside off, the former RCB skipper played it away from the body and Deepak Hooda completed the formalities at backward point. Maxwell (23 off 11), who looked in great touch, went for a reverse sweep but failed to time it and a superb catch by Holder off the bowling of Pandya forced the Australian to walk back. Suyash Prabhudessai (10), Shahbaz Ahmed (26) and Dinesh Karthik (13 not out) chipped in, but LSG bowlers prevented RCB from touching the 200-run mark.

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