MUMBAI: Batting first after losing the toss, Bangalore got off to a shaky start as they lost opener Anuj Rawat and Virat Kohli in the first over to the pacer Dushmantha Chameera. Rawat was caught superbly by KL Rahul at mid-off, while Kohli was dismissed on the first ball as he tried to guide the ball to the third-man but was caught at backward point.
Bangalore captain Faf du Plessis looked in good touch and batted solidly. Glenn Maxwell played a couple of thunderous shots before he was prised out by left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya for 23. Suyash Prabhudessai also perished soon and Bangalore were in disarray at 62-4.
Shahbaz Ahmed provided fine support to Faf as together they added 70 runs for the fifth wicket. Faf paced his innings with prudence and teed off after reaching his fifty. He smashed leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi for a six over long-on in the 14th over and clubbed Krunal over his head in the next over. Overall, he made 96 runs off 64 balls. His innings included 11 boundaries and two sixes.
Chasing 182, Lucknow was wrecked by medium-pacer Josh Hazlewood as he removed Quinton de Kock and Manish Pandey early. Rahul and Krunal Pandya raised hopes by cobbling up a brief partnership of 31 runs but after they were dismissed, Lucknow innings went off the rails. Pandya seemed eminently assured at the crease and hammered 42 runs off 28 balls. His dismissal in the 14th over was the turning point of the match.
Deepak Hooda, Ayush Badoni and Marcus Stonis produced short cameos but none of them kicked on and finished the match. In the end, Lucknow reached 163-8 in 20 overs and lost the match by 18 runs. This is Bangalore’s fifth win in seven matches and they are only behind Gujarat Titans in the points table. Faf was declared Man of the Match for his scintillating innings.
Lucknow captain Rahul said that the failure of the top-order was the major reason behind the defeat but expressed hope that the team will bounce back.
“I think we started really well and got 2 wickets in the first over. But then didn’t capitalize on that. 180 on that pitch was 15-20 extra runs we gave away as we couldn’t really squeeze in the middle. With the bat as well, we needed one in the top three to go deep and the other batters to bat around him and unfortunately we couldn’t do that,” he said after the match.
“We have a really good team and I’m very happy with how we are playing. Everyone has chipped in and everyone looks in good form and everyone has scored for us. It’s important that one or two guys who have a good day need to dig in and take the team through,” he added.
Bangalore captain Faf, who scored 96, stated he’s happy with his performance and a hundred is round the corner. “Due to the nature of this ground, you do run a lot of twos and towards the end, it can be tiring. I got a few 96, and a 97, so hopefully a ton is around the corner. We needed someone to stabilize the innings and then get going at the end. Today, I am grateful that I could do it,” he stated.
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