Newly appointed Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis beat the Punjab Kings attack into submission when his 88 sent his team to 205 for 2 in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 game on Sunday. While Du Plessis showed his six-hitting prowess and hammered seven maximums in his 57-ball knock, Virat Kohli, who had stepped down as skipper, also broke in with an unbeaten 41 from 29 balls. Wicket-keeper-batter Dinesh Karthik joined the party late in the innings with a rapid fire of 32 not out on just 14 balls.
Du Plessis, who also hit three fours, and Kohli added 118 runs for the second wicket after the first and Anuj Rawat (21) laid the foundation with their 50-run stand.
RCB amassed 11 ‘extra’ runs, taking second off Arshdeep Singh. Du Plessis got his first limit in the third, while in the same over, Rawat hit his first maximum as RCB raced to 23/0.
Rawat hit consecutive boundaries in the sixth, off Odean Smith. But leg-spinner Rahul Chahar (1/22) cut shot Rawat’s stay by clearing him in the seventh over.
Kohli came in and he took his time to settle down.
After consecutive twos, Kohli’s first maximum came in the 10th when RCB collected 13 runs and at 70/1 the foundations were laid for a big total.
The former South Africa skipper, who was given a ‘life’, took full advantage of it and then raised the bar as the carnage started from the 12th when he knocked off a towering six from Liam Livingstone.
Du Plessis was brutal to Odean Smith, hammering on a limit and two straight sixes. He followed it up with two sixes on Harpreet Brar (0/38).
Kohli, who hit a four and two sixes, was also in his element, as he played shots at will. However, he played second fiddle to Du Plessis when the South African was in full swing.
Du Plessis was fired in the 18th, but by then the damage was done.
A rapid-fire 32 from Karthik on just 14 balls, hitting three sixes and as many fours, took RCB past the 200-point mark.
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