IPL 2022, LSG vs RCB, Top Performances: Faf du Plessis's 96, Jos Hazlewood's 4-25 and Krunal Pandya's 42, 1-29 are top three performances from LSG vs RCB.
Brief Scores: RCB 181-6 (Faf du Plessis 96, Ahmed 26, Holder 2-25) beat LSG 163-8 (Krunal 42, Rahul 30, Hazelwood 4-25) by 18 runs
Player of the match: Faf du Plessis for his match-winning 96 from 64 balls
Match 31 of Tata IPL 2022 saw the battle between the 3rd and 4th team on the points table, the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) who were tied at 8 points each prior to this game.
Lucknow entered this game with their batters in better form than RCB. The top-order has been blowing a bit hot and cold for Faf and Co. but the middle-order has been bailing them out. The journeys so far for both LSG and RCB have been uncannily similar. Both started with a loss, both registered a hat-trick of victories and then lost the subsequent game.
LSG captain KL Rahul won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first as the pitch had a tinge of grass on the surface, hinting there would be seam and bounce initially for the fast bowlers at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai. One of the rare occasions were both teams went unchanged and played the same 11 players as their previous game.
RCB beat LSG by 18 runs
On this green top, LSG capitalized on their decision of winning the toss and bowling first by going all out with their seamers in the powerplay. The Sri Lankan quickie Dushmantha Chameera got swing from the word go and dented RCB’s top-order with back-to-back wickets of Anuj Rawat and Virat Kohli in his very first over. This was also Kohli’s fourth golden duck in IPL history.
RCB captain Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell tried to counter-attack LSG with few bold sixes and smart boundaries which elevated RCB from a tough position of 7-2 after the 1st over to 43-2 after the 5th over. But Krunal Pandya and Jason Holder applied the brakes on RCB’s counter-attack by taking two more wickets in a span of 14 deliveries as RCB were reduced to 65-4 by the end of the 8th over. Faf took calculated risks and was helped in a 70-run stand by Shahbaz Ahmed and then a 49-run stand with Dinesh Karthik where the skipper was the aggressor and took RCB past the 180-mark.
Chasing 182, LSG weren’t off to an ideal start either, as some brilliant bowling by Hazelwood helped RCB to control the situation inside the powerplay which restricted LSG to 33-2 after 5 overs. A fighting knock from Krunal who took on the RCB bowlers with some spectacular shots kept LSG in the game and took LSG from 33-2 to 94 for three by the 12th over.
But as soon as Krunal was dismissed, Lucknow lost momentum and looked like a completely different team. Josh Hazlewood, with his experience and good line and length, steamrolled through the LSG innings with a four-fer. It almost became a one-sided match by the 19th over with late jitters from Jason Holder to help LSG’s net run rate. But the defeat was inevitable, as RCB won comfortably by 18 runs in the end to secure the second spot on the points table on the basis of NRR as they are now tied with Gujarat Titans on 10 points.
Let’s look at the top three performances from the game between LSG and RCB.
Fantastic Du Plessis’s marathon innings of 96
Not many players can take their team to a score of 181 after being two down for just seven runs in the very first over of the innings. But we are talking about Francois du Plessis who is no ordinary player! While LSG’s pacers exploited the new ball brilliantly with swing and bounce as RCB were 7 for 2 in the first over itself, Faf du Plessis played a classical rescue innings.
Maxwell, who came to bat in the second over of the RCB innings, started taking risks with Faf playing second fiddle initially. After Maxwell and Suyash Prabhudessai were dismissed, RCB were still struggling at 65-4 with 12 overs still in the bank. Faf was playing the perfect sheet anchor role at a strike rate of just 112 till the 14-over mark, pushing the ball in the gaps, running the ones and the twos which put pressure on the LSG fielders. A clean straight six over long on followed by a single brought the second fifty of the season for Faf.
On this sluggish wicket, it was important for someone to stick around and play those risk-free shots in the “V” while still managing to score at a healthy strike rate of 150. The RCB captain stood like a rock at one end, even though wickets were tumbling at the other end. Du Plessis played perfectly according to the situation running hard between the wickets and scoring the odd boundaries off bad deliveries with an aim to get RCB over the 180-run mark. While trying to add few more runs in the final over, du Plessis who was sweating heavily under the humid conditions of Mumbai, just fell short by four runs of a well-deserved century, as the tired man played a mistimed shot but ensured RCB set a target of 182 to LSG.
This was the second time Faf was dismissed for 96 in his IPL career, which is also his highest score in the league.
Krunal Pandya shines with his all-round skills
While the counter-attack was on from Glenn Maxwell, it was important for LSG to pick up wickets to pull things back. Bowling his second over inside the powerplay, Krunal who has got a reputation of keeping the “Big Show” in his pocket, just didn’t give any width to Maxwell who was looking to free his arms every other ball trying to maximize the last over of the powerplay. Krunal Pandya eventually cramped Maxwell for room who was attempting a reverse sweep and ended up throwing his wicket away once again to the left-arm spinner who was helped this time by the tall West Indian Jason Holder who took an absolute screamer to stun Maxwell and RCB. Krunal Pandya has got Maxwell out four times in 13 innings, while the latter has only managed to score 113 in the 90 balls against the bowler in those 13 innings at a very unlike Maxwell strike rate of 125.56.
Pandya also bowled a very economical spell with tight line and length in this match, restricting the flow of runs for RCB, giving away just 29 runs in his quota of four overs and one important wicket of Maxwell.
Chasing an above par score on this damp wicket, LSG were off to a very poor start being stranded at 33-2 inside the first five overs. Krunal Pandya was promoted up the order at number four to maintain the left-right combination with KL Rahul. Pandya looked like a man on a mission with two sublime shots off the backfoot which earned him back-to-back boundaries off Mohammed Siraj in the last over of powerplay.
Krunal then greeted Harshal Patel with a cracking shot off the backfoot which was fast-forwarded towards the cover boundaries on this quick outfield. Even after LSG captain Rahul was dismissed, the elder Pandya wasn’t bogged down, in fact, he took on the charge to Shahbaz Ahmed and Wanindu Hasaranga and was just dealing in sixes. Krunal was in fact just waiting for Hasaranga to bowl the googly and boy, that lofted extra cover drive for a six was probably the shot of the innings.
Krunal was looking at his fluent best and was comfortably winning it for LSG with 80 runs needed off the last seven overs with six wickets in hand. However, Glenn Maxwell got his redemption by dismissing him and a fighting innings of 42 from just 28 balls, which included two sixes and five fours, came to an end.
Hazlewood delivers the knockout punch for RCB
Brought late into the attack in the third over, Josh Hazlewood wasn’t late in delivering a wicket. He dismissed the fiery Quinton de Kock with an unplayable Test match delivery. Banged in on a short of good length, the angling ball seamed across the left-hander picking a thick outside edge on its way and Maxwell completed the formalities in the slip cordon. It was very much like a perfect Test dismissal on a Day 1 green top for Hazlewood.
The bowler continued the pressure from his first over and wasn’t giving any freebies to the batters bowling stump to stump. Manish Pandey who wasn’t looking comfortable at all against Hazlewood, was trapped off a length ball which cramped him up completely in an attempted pull shot resulting in the batter completely mistiming it to give catching practice to Patel at square leg.
With LSG needing 54 off the final four overs and Ayush Badoni and Marcus Stoinis at the crease, the match was very much in the balance. LSG were looking to target the short boundaries on one side but Hazlewood had other ideas. Badoni who was looking to lap-sweep was foxed by some smart bowling and clever field placements by the bowler who had purposely brought square leg up, luring Badoni to play the scoop shot in the vacant region. Hazlewood then followed him up with the slowest of slow length balls bowled wide of the batters reach and Badoni couldn’t get anything more than the edge of his bat.
The final nail in the coffin for LSG came when Hazlewood dismissed Stoinis who was looking to play a cute shot shuffling across way outside off-stump as there was no cover on the square leg fence but ended up inside-edging the ball into the stumps off a clever fuller ball. Hazlewood, with his experience, was too good for the LSG batters as he took a wicket in every single over that he bowled in this match and ended up defending the 182 runs on the board for RCB, with his four crucial wickets while giving away just peanuts (25 runs) from his valuable four overs.
IPL 2022 Points Table
What’s to come
The Covid-19 scar-hit Delhi Capitals take on Punjab Kings on April 20 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, post rescheduling of the match from Pune.
Here are some of the top twitter reactions from LSG vs RCB game, IPL 2022: