Mumbai, May 9 (IANS) Skipper Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell struck aggressive half-centuries and shared a 120-run partnership for the third wicket as Royal Challengers Bangalore posted 199/6 in 20 overs against Mumbai Indians in Match No. 54 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Tuesday.
Maxwell blazed his way to 68 off 33 deliveries, hitting eight boundaries and four maximums while Faf struck 65 off 41 balls, smacking five boundaries and three sixes as they rescued Royal Challengers Bangalore from the early setback of losing former skipper Virat Kohli for 1 in the first over.
The big crowd had turned up to see Kohli play a trademark innings but were treated to an Afro-Aussie special from Maxwell and Du Plessis. RCB suffered a wobble in the death overs and thanks to a cameo from Dinesh Karthik (30 off 17, 4×4, 1×6) fell just short of the 200-run mark.
Jason Behrendorff was the best of the Mumbai bowlers, claiming 3-36 off his four overs. Chris Jordan, Cameron Green, and Kumar Kartikeya claimed a wicket apiece. RCB could manage only 47 runs in the last five overs, thus setting Mumbai Indians a chasable target.
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma had won the toss and elected to field first and left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff justified his decision by getting Virat Kohli to nick one behind to Ishan Kishan on the fifth ball of his first over. Kohli tried to give the Aussie pacer the charge to heave it into the stands but only managed a thick edge behind for 1– DRS giving the former India captain out.
From 2/1, Royal Challengers Bangalore slumped into further trouble when Anuj Rawat, who slapped Behrendorff for a boundary over cover, attempted to scoop a wide one but top-edged it and Cameron Green pouched the skier, running behind from slips. RCB were down to 16/2 and looking in trouble.
However, skipper Faf du Plessis and the experienced Glenn Maxwell rescued Royal Challengers Bangalore with both hitting superb fifties in the process.
Maxwell was the more aggressive of the two, completing his half-century in 25 balls, hitting three sixes and six boundaries in the process. He struck Behrendorff for two boundaries in the fifth over, belting one down the ground and playing the second to the fine-leg boundary.
In the next over, he first reverse-swept and then punched Piyush Chawla for back-to-back boundaries. Maxwell continued his tirade against the Mumbai Indians bowlers, smacking Chris Jordan, who made his Mumbai Indians debut coming in as a replacement for Jofra Archer, for two sixes in the seventh over, hoisting him square-leg and then pulling the English bowler over the boundary in front of square.
He then walked down the pitch to deposit a Chawla delivery into the second tier over long-on. A boundary off a full-toss by Akash Madhwal and a single took him to fifty off 25 balls.
The pick of his shots on Tuesday was a reverse ramp off Jordan for a six. He again used the reverse shot to dispatch a fastish leg-break from Chawla for four.
At the other end, Du Plessis played a well-controlled innings as he struck Chawla for successive fours in the second over and despatched Green for two boundaries in the fourth over, picking up the length with ease. In the fifth over, he thumped Behrendorff for a big six over long-on and meted out the same treatment to Madhwal off a full-toss in the 10th over as RCB crossed the 100-run mark.
He struck a six off Chawla and hit Jordan for a boundary, completing his fifty off 30 deliveries. The 100 off their partnership for the third wicket came off just 52 balls as RCB went on the rampage.
Behrendorff provided Mumbai Indians the much-needed breakthrough when he sent back Maxwell for 68, as he slogged a knuckleball and Nehal Wadhera pouched a straight-forward catch, falling backward. The third-wicket partnership fetched RCB 120 runs in quick fashion.
But their hopes of posting a bit total did not materialise as from 136/3 in the 13th over, RCB slumped to 146/5 in the 15th over, losing Mahipal Lomror (1) and Faf du Plessis (65) in quick fashion. The RCB skipper attempted to ramp Green only to find substitute fielder Vishnu Vinod at short fine leg, who juggled it twice before catching it on the third attempt.
Dinesh Karthik played a cameo 30 off 17 balls, smacking Kumar Kartikeya for three boundaries, two off successive deliveries, and hammering a full-toss from the spinner for a six over deep midwicket. But holed out to Nehal Wadhera off Jordan at the most inappropriate time for RCB as they could not go past the 200-run mark, managing 47/1 in the last five overs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore 199/6 in 20 overs (Glenn Maxwell 68, Faf du Plessis 65, Dinesh Karthik 30; Jason Behrendorff 3-36) against Mumbai Indians