IPL 2022: Big guns fire for Kings

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty

Updated: May 14, 2022 12:35:45 am

Rahul Chahar of the Punjab Kings celebrates the wicket of Rajat Patidar of Royal Challengers Bangalore during the Indian Premier League 2022 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings, at the Brabourne Stadium, in Mumbai, Friday, May 13, 2022. (Sportzpics/PTI Photo)

Synopsis: Another heartbreak for Kohli, as Punjab thrive on ‘English’ power-hitting.

The second strategic time-out gave Royal Challengers Bangalore an opportunity to assess their death-overs strategy. In fact, it was pretty simple. The asking rate had climbed to almost 16 runs per over and Dinesh Karthik was the last hope for them.

.@arshdeepsinghh strikes. 👍 👍

A crucial wicket for @PunjabKingsIPL as Dinesh Karthik departs. 👌 👌

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Follow the match ▶️ https://t.co/jJzEACCFR1#TATAIPL | #RCBvPBKS pic.twitter.com/Iq1MvnOnid

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 13, 2022

A sharp mind is a reason for Arshdeep Singh’s death-overs success. He reads batsmen perfectly and bowls accordingly. Shahbaz Ahmed was never going to be a big-hitting threat and Arshdeep didn’t give Karthik any pace to manoeuvre before getting the better of him with a wide yorker. Against Punjab Kings’ 209/9, RCB were 120/6 at the end of the 15th over. The game was gone. Worse, after a 54-run defeat, their net run rate slid to -0.323. With only one league game to go, the playoffs race could make them jittery.

Heartbreak for Kohli

A little glove, and Virat Kohli’s promising innings was nipped in the bud. Cricket is a game of fine margins and nobody is feeling it the hard way like Kohli at the moment. Before his dismissal, there was a spark.


A charge, backing away, against Arshdeep was a tad agricultural. The bowler smiled in his follow-through. There was certainly no disrespect, but the batsman’s ego was hurt. He brought out his signature cover drive. A couple of balls later, the wrists worked their magic and a full inswinger went to the mid-wicket boundary. Kohli was showing signs of returning to form.

Harpreet Brar enticed him with flight. Kohli danced down the track and flicked it over the long-on boundary. Fans at Brabourne instantly amplified the noise level. That was when the rub of the green yet again conspired against Kohli. The glove off a Kagiso Rabada delivery was so faint that the on-field umpire missed it. The ball ricocheted off Kohli’s hips and on to Rahul Chahar at short fine-leg. Ultra-Edge showed a spike and Kohli was done for the night, after a 14-ball 20. He looked skywards and muttered a few words. He probably has a valid complaint against Murphy’s Law.

A big breakthrough for @PunjabKingsIPL! 👍 👍@KagisoRabada25 strikes in his first over. 👌 👌#RCB lose Virat Kohli.

Follow the match ▶️ https://t.co/jJzEACTIT1#TATAIPL | #RCBvPBKS pic.twitter.com/iVRT0FNDKc

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 13, 2022

Kohli’s dismissal had a knock-on effect. When RCB lost Faf du Plessis and Mahipal Lomror in a Rishi Dhawan over, their chase threatened to fall apart. On the upside, they had a high-scoring ground and Glenn Maxwell to fall back on. If RCB had to score 210, they needed Maxwell to bat long. Together with Rajat Patidar, the Aussie started the resurrection job. He saw off Rabada’s first spell and attacked Chahar. A switch-hit over cover was imperious. Patidar grew in confidence as well and a fifty partnership was raised.

Then, PBKS came back with a double blow. Patidar fell to Chahar and Brar accounted for Maxwell in the next over. PBKS bowlers raised their game, bowling beautifully to Karthik and putting him under even more pressure. Mayank Agarwal’s use of his bowlers was excellent. Rabada and Arshdeep stood out, with figures of 3/21 and 1/27 respectively.

‘English’ power-hitting

Jonny Bairstow was in a belligerent mood. Almost everything that came at him was dispatched with disdain. He had scored a half-century in the last game, against Rajasthan Royals. But throughout this IPL, Bairstow’s search for an impact knock was proving to be futile. But this was one. A six against Maxwell in the very first over was the prelude. Bairstow exploded with a 22-run over against Josh Hazlewood next.

Even after Shikhar Dhawan’s dismissal, Bairstow continued with his merry hitting, laying into Mohammed Siraj and rattling the bowler enough for him to bowl a beamer. The opener responded with back-to-back sixes to raise a 21-ball fifty. PBKS romped to 83/1 at the end of the Powerplay.

Throughout the season, the middle overs have been where Punjab Kings have lost the plot. As RCB brought on their spinners – Wanindu Hasaranga and Shahbaz – a bit of caution became important. Hasaranga immediately hit a nice rhythm. Bairstow treated the leg-spinner with respect, but his attempted lofted drive against Shahbaz looked premeditated. The left-arm spinner spotted it, bowled wide, induced an edge and RCB heaved a sigh of relief. Another four or five overs from Bairstow could have taken PBKS completely out of sight. His 29-ball 66, including seven sixes, was wonderfully entertaining. But it was a job half done, especially given his team’s propensity to surrender the initiative after a good start.

ICYMI: @liaml4893 goes berserk with 4⃣2⃣-ball 7⃣0⃣! ⚡️ ⚡️

The @PunjabKingsIPL right-hander continued his impressive run of form and scored a dazzling half-century! 💪 💪 #TATAIPL | #RCBvPBKS

Watch 🎥 🔽https://t.co/Id7mjGU5u7 pic.twitter.com/BR1d7qCoiB

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 13, 2022

It was down to another Englishman, Liam Livingstone, to keep up the tempo. He had a few lucky escapes at the start of his innings, but Livingstone was PBKS’ best bet to take the total past 200. After such an electric start, anything less than that would have been a flop show.

Hazlewood wasn’t having a good game and Livingstone targeted him. The fast bowler gave away 64 runs in his four overs. Livingstone, meanwhile, had his half-century – 70 off 42 balls – and took his team’s score past the 200-run mark. But for Hasaranga’s spell (2/15), it would have been even more. Harshal Patel, too, bowled well, especially at the death, to return with 4/34 from his four overs. The night, though, belonged to PBKS, when they thrived on ‘English’ power-hitting.

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