Siraj, RCB
Mohammed Siraj was declared Player of the Match. Picture courtesy: BCCI/Twitter

IPL 2023: Siraj, du Plessis on fire as RCB beat Punjab Kings

Despite a rib injury, Faf du Plessis led from the front, while Mohammed Siraj produced his best figures in the IPL to set up a 24-run win for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Punjab Kings in Mohali on Thursday (April 20).

Playing as an ‘Impact Player’ due to his injury, Du Plessis plundered 84 off 56 balls and shared a 137-run opening wicket stand with stand-in captain Virat Kohli (59 off 47) to steer RCB to 174 for four after being put into bat.

Virat Kohli returned as captain for the first time since October 2021 owing to du Plessis’s injury.

Though in-form skipper Shikhar Dhawan was unavailable for the second game in a row, Punjab had enough firepower to chase down 175 but lost too many wickets at the start of the chase.

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Siraj delivered wickets with the new ball and in the death overs to end up with 4/21 in four overs and secure a welcome victory for his team. Jitesh Sharma’s counter-attacking 41 off 27 for Punjab went in vain.

It was RCB’s third win in six games, while Punjab suffered their third loss in six matches.

Siraj was too hot to handle in the powerplay as he removed left-hander Atharva Taide with a sharp inswinger off the second ball of the innings before removing the dangerous Liam Livingstone in the fourth over. Both lbw dismissals came after successful DRS reviews.

Also Read: IPL 2023: Impact Player rule has rewritten core values of cricket

Wanindu Hasaranga then castled Matthew Short with a googly before run-outs of Sam Curran and Harpreet Bhatia made matters worse for the home team.

At 97 for six, the game looked done and dusted but Jitesh Sharma kept Punjab in the game with some clean hitting, especially down the ground. He ran out of partners eventually.

Also Read: IPL 2023: Gavaskar praises ‘shrewd thinker’ Arjun Tendulkar

(With Agency inputs)

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