Bengaluru– Royal Challengers Bangalore’ top three batters Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell slammed contrasting fifties to power their side to a mammoth 212/2 against Lucknow Super Giants in an IPL 2023 match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, here on Monday.
Kohli was at his aggressive best in attacking pacers in power-play while making 61 off 44 balls. On the other hand, Du Plessis was at 33 off 31 balls and looked scratchy but he found his timing to be unbeaten on 79 from 46 deliveries while Maxwell smacked 59 off just 29 balls as the crowd was treated to some scintillating strokeplay.
Kohli got his first boundary with a not-so-convincing shot — getting a fat top-edge on a pull off Avesh Khan in the second over. When Avesh gave width on the very next ball, Kohli drove him authoritatively through extra cover for four.
Kohli further attacked Avesh in his second over through a brace of crisp drives on the up through cover, with the timing and placement being exquisite. Deep in his crease, he welcomed Krunal Pandya with a delightful loft for six over long-on.
Mark Wood’s extra pace didn’t trouble Kohli at all as he brought out the drive over the bowler’s head for four and on the next ball, he rocked back to pull over midwicket for six. But with the spinners tying them down with control, Kohli took time to reach his fifty in 35 balls.
He broke the shackles by pulling Krunal over mid-wicket for six, but holed out to deep mid-wicket off Amit Mishra in the 12th over. By then, du Plessis had hit three fours and with Glenn Maxwell coming in, Bangalore were in danger of losing momentum.
Maxwell laid the foundation for the acceleration with a beautiful inside-out slash over cover for four and followed it up with a loft over long-on for six off Mishra. Du Plessis took a brace of sixes off Bishnoi in the 15th over — with the second of it being a monstrous 115-m hit going above the roof of the stadium. Maxwell closed the over with another six slammed down the ground.
A chipped loft over long-off for six off Wood brought du Plessis’ fifty in 35 balls. Maxwell welcomed Avesh in the 17th over with a hoick over square leg for six, before slicing him over extra cover for four.
The duo then teared into Unadkat in the 18th over — Maxwell sliced through third man for four and earned a reprieve when Krunal dropped his catch on the very next ball. Du Plessis slammed consecutive sixes over the leg side, before ending the over with a sliced four through backward point.
Maxwell brought up his fifty in 24 balls with back-to-back sixes off Avesh in the 19th over — second of which was the shot of the night — opening the bat face late to glide over deep point. After the second-wicket stand completed its century in just 44 balls, du Plessis slammed Avesh through extra cover for four.
Maxwell pulled Wood over deep backward square leg for six in the final over, before the pace bounced back by uprooting the batter’s leg-stump with a 150kph scorcher, as Bangalore fetched a whopping 108 runs in the last seven overs.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 212/2 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 79 not out, Virat Kohli 61; Amit Mishra 1/18, Mark Wood 1/32) against Lucknow Super Giants (IANS)