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11 Mar 2022
Blistering half-centuries by Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone steered Punjab Kings (PBKS) to a massive 54-run win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai.
Put into bat, Punjab Kings got off to a great start as their opening batters Shikhar Dhawan and Bairstow smashed 30 runs in just two overs without losing a wicket. Jonny Bairstow single-handedly smashed Josh Hazlewood for 22 runs in the second over of the innings. The duo of Bairstow and Dhawan smashed RCB’s bowlers all over the ground and made the most of the field restrictions.
The blistering duo took their team’s total beyond the 50-run mark inside 4 overs and brought up their 60 runs partnership for the opening wicket as well. They kept thrashing the Bangalore bowlers and scored rapidly.
Maxwell bowled Dhawan for 21 runs to get the first wicket for his team leaving PBKS’s score at 60/1. Dhawan’s wicket led to the arrival of Bhanuka Rajapaksa at the crease and he continued the attack from his end as even after Dhawan's wicket it didn't seem to make any impact on Punjab.
However, Bangalore's most successful bowler of the season Wanindu Hasaranga dismissed fellow Sri Lankan Bhanuka Rajapaksa in the seventh over. But Livingstone then joined Bairstow and the pair took their team’s total beyond the 100-run mark in only the ninth over of the innings.
The latter got out after scoring a valiant 66 runs which brought Mayank Agarwal to the crease. Although, he couldn't do much for his team as RCB bowlers pulled back things a bit in the last few overs. Harshal Patel struck twice as he dismissed Livingstone and Rishi Dhawan in the same over, conceding only four runs, but not before Hazlewood was tonked for 24 runs in the penultimate over.
RCB needed 210 runs to win; skipper Faf du Plessis and ex-skipper Virat Kohli walked out to open the batting. When it was looking like RCB have got a good start in a big run chase, they lost the wicket of Kohli for 20 (14) in the fourth over. One over later, du Plessis also departed to give Rishi Dhawan his first wicket of the match. However, Mahipal Lomror couldn't hang on for too long as he too left off the bowling of Rishi.
Although Glenn Maxwell and Rajat Patidar then stitched a crucial 64-run stand to bring RCB back in the run chase. Rahul Chahar broke the partnership by taking Patidar's wicket; soon Maxwell too lost his wicket to Harpreet Brar.
The last hope was relying on Dinesh Karthik; unfortunately for RCB, DK couldn't do much as he too perished for 11 leaving RCB at 120 in 14.5 overs. After which, RCB lost regular wickets, that meant that they fell short of the target by 54 runs as they finished with 155/9 in the allotted 20 overs.
Bairstow was awarded the player of the match for his blistering innings of 66 (29), which included seven sixes and four boundaries.
Punjab Kings - 209-9 (20.0)
Liam Livingstone 70 (42), Jonny Bairstow 66 (29);
Harshal Patel 4/34 (4), Wanindu Hasaranga 2/15 (4)
Royal Challengers Bangalore - 155-9 (20.0)
Glenn Maxwell 35 (22), Rajat Patidar 26(21);
Kagiso Rabada 3/21 (4), Rishi Dhawan 2/36 (4)
Punjab Kings won by 54 runs.