IPL 2022, RCB vs PBKS: Punjab Kings thrash RCB by 54 runs; move to the 6th place on the points table

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PBKS are now placed 6th on the points table.

Punjab Kings were all over Royal Challengers Bangalore as the Mayank-led team thrashed RCB by 54 runs to move up to the 6th place on the points table on Friday.

The race to the playoffs has heated up with Punjab’s win. Now both DC and PBKS have 12 points against their name. DC, however, is just marginally ahead of Punjab in terms of NRR. With this loss, RCB can now reach a maximum of 16 points only.

Their NRR has also taken a severe beating and now stands at -0.323. RCB will have to win their final game and move to 16 points but also now need to have some rub of the green with a few favourable results going their way.

Earlier, Bairstow (66 off 29 balls) and Livingstone (70 off 42 balls) propelled Punjab Kings to 209 for 9 in a must-win game and the scoreboard was always going to be telling as RCB were restricted to 155 for 9 in 20 overs.

It was another day and another failure for Virat Kohli (20), who got a faint under-edge tickle on his gloves before it hit his thigh pad and bobbed up to short fine leg off a Kagiso Rabada (4-0-21-3) delivery.

Rabada was literally unplayable on the day as he worked good pace and hit the ideal fuller length for the better part of his spell.

Rishi Dhawan (4-0-36-2), perhaps the weakest link in the Punjab attack, then made up for his lack of pace by hitting immaculate length as Faf du Plessis edged one to Jitesh Sharma behind stumps and Mahipal Lomror’s rasping pull shot was taken by Shikhar Dhawan.

Rajat Patidar (26) and Glenn Maxwell (35) did add 64 runs but they were never in the game with both departing in quick succession.

And when Dinesh Karthik (11) was snuffed out by the brilliant Arshdeep Singh (4-0-27-1) with a wide yorker and a catch by a short third-man on the circle, RCB fizzled out in a jiffy.

Earlier, Bairstow’s opening blitzkrieg found its ideal match in Livingstone’s finishing carnage.

While Bairstow laid the foundation with a 29-ball-66, Livingstone was equally good in his 42-ball-70 as the RCB bowlers had a day that they would like to forget in a hurry.

Bairstow, who was rusty during the earlier phase of the tournament, was back in his element with as many as seven sixes and four boundaries during a knock where he literally went hell for leather.

Such was his dominance that by the time six overs of Powerplay ended, Bairstow had hit seven towering sixes and Shikhar Dhawan (21 off 15 balls) rubbed salt to the wound with another one which made it eight in all.

Punjab Kings, which had set the template of blazing Powerplay starts, got 83 in six overs with Glenn Maxwell (1/17 in 2 overs), Josh Hazlewood (0/64 in 4 overs) and Mohammed Siraj (0/36 in 2 overs) being treated with utter disdain.

While Maxwell did manage to get Dhawan, both Hazlewood and Siraj were guilty of bowling short on a pitch offering true bounce. Bairstow effortlessly pulled and flicked them into the stands and by the time, deliveries pitched up, they landed in the stands as well.

It only helped that the boundary on one side was 66 metres only, which is a dream for any power-hitter.

Siraj had a forgettable first spell where he was hit for four sixes, while Hazlewood in his first over had gone for 22. The Australian had his worst IPL figures ever.

However post Powerplay, once Wanindu Hasaranga (2/15 in 4 overs) and Shahbaz Ahmed (1/40 in 4 overs) started operating, RCB stemmed the flow of runs with some tight wicket-to-wicket bowling.

Bengal left-arm spinner Shahbaz was rewarded for his tight lines as Bairstow finally mistimed one and Siraj did well to pouch the skier.

After 83 in the first six, there was a drastic dip in scoring as 22 came in between the 7th and 10th overs.

Both Hasaranga and Shahbaz bowled wide outside the off-stump not letting Livingstone and Agarwal charge down the track.

Still, the Englishman managed a couple of sixes to continue his good form in the competition and then muscled into the stands towards the fag end even as Harshal Patel (4/34 in 4 overs) was exceptional at the death.

His fifty came off 35 balls and by the time he was out, he had four out of those 14 sixes in the Punjab innings.

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