Bangalore beat Lucknow in low-scoring affair

The win has taken Bangalore to ten points and fifth place on a better net run rate, while Lucknow have slipped to third place but still have ten points…reports Asian Lite News

Josh Hazlewood and Karn Sharma picked two wickets each in a superb bowling performance on a sluggish black soil pitch as Royal Challengers Bangalore defended a modest 126 and beat Lucknow Super Giants by 18 runs at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Apart from the duo, Mohammed Siraj, Glenn Maxwell, Wanindu Hasaranga and Harshal Patel took a wicket each to bowl out Bangalore for 108 in 19.5 overs as Lucknow’s batters didn’t show any application and patience for stitching partnerships to chase down a small total.

The win has also taken Bangalore to ten points and fifth place on a better net run rate, while Lucknow have slipped to third place but still have ten points. Bangalore had an early breakthrough on the second ball of their defence as Kyle Mayers pulled straight to mid-on against Siraj. Krunal Pandya injects some momentum by hitting Siraj for three successive fours in the third over.

But Krunal fell in the next over, chipping a wide of the crease delivery from Maxwell towards long-off. Ayush Badoni, opening in place of K.L. Rahul, who badly injured his right leg while fielding, went for a lofted drive but went straight to a leaping extra cover.

Hasaranga was next to enter the wickets column, drawing Deepak Hooda out of the crease with a googly, beating him on the inside edge, and was stumped. Karn joined the wicket-taking list as Nicholas Pooran miscued a heave to deep square leg.

K. Gowtham hit Karn for a six and four and followed it up with another six down the ground off Hasaranga. But Bangalore hit back as Marcus Stoinis sliced high in the air to long-off and Gowtham was run-out while going for a risky second run.

Ravi Bishnoi was dropped by point but was then run out on the same delivery while going for a second run. Amit Mishra and Naveen-ul-Haq hung around before the latter nicked behind off Hazlewood.

With Lucknow needing 24 runs off the last eight balls, Rahul surprisingly came out to bat. But he couldn’t make a run off three deliveries he faced, including off a no-ball, as Mishra miscued a loft to keeper off Patel in the final over, giving Bangalore a welcome victory.

Earlier, Bangalore began their innings well by not losing wickets in the Power-play. But as the innings progressed, they kept losing wickets as Naveen picked 3-30 while Bishnoi and Mishra had identical figures of 2-21 to tie down Bangalore.

Barring a 44 from captain Faf du Plessis, Bangalore’s batters weren’t given any breathing space to break the shackles and could only hit eight boundaries in their innings, the lowest by any team in IPL 2023 till now.

On the first ball of the innings, Krunal Pandya got turn and bounce, showing signs of what would come in the game. Virat Kohli pushed at it and got a thick outside edge past the first slip, for four. Lucknow were dealt a huge blow as Rahul walked off the field after injuring his right leg while trying to stop a boundary on the last ball of the second over.

After three overs of no boundaries, du Plessis broke the shackles by lofting Naveen over long-off for six, followed by Kohli steering him between backward point and third man for four. Kohli then broke a 3.3-over period of no boundaries by driving through cover on an overpitched delivery by Yash Thakur.

But in the ninth over, Kohli fell as he was nowhere near the pitch of the ball while coming down to counter a googly from Bishnoi and was stumped easily. From there, Bangalore endured a slide as Anuj Rawat pulled straight to deep mid-wicket off Gowtham, Maxwell missed a reverse sweep off Bishnoi and trapped plumb lbw, followed by Suyash Prabhudessai miscuing to long-off against Mishra.

The drizzle then got heavier and forced players and umpires to go off the field in the 16th over. After 25 minutes, play resumed and Dinesh Karthik pulled Naveen for four and went deep in the crease to pull Mishra for six. But the veteran leg-spinner bounced back by having du Plessis slice a leg break to cover running in from his right.

Bangalore’s implosion continued as Mahipal Lomror was trapped lbw by a ball from Naveen keeping low while Karthik was run out by a brilliant direct hit from Thakur turning around in his follow-through at the non-striker’s end. Naveen then picked two more wickets and gave away only six runs in the last over to keep Bangalore below 130.

Brief scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore 126/9 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 44, Virat Kohli 31; Naveen-ul-Haq 3-30, Ravi Bishnoi 2-21) beat Lucknow Super Giants 108 all out in 19.5 overs (K. Gowtham 23, Amit Mishra 19; Josh Hazlewood 2-15, Karn Sharma 2-20) by 18 runs

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