Mumbai, May 13
Attacking half-centuries by English batters Jonny Bairstow (66 off 29 balls) and Liam Livingstone (70 off 42 balls) overshadowed superb bowling by Harshal Patel (4/34) as Punjab Kings posted a massive 209/9 in 20 overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 60 of IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.
Bairstow started the early carnage on the freaky Friday against Royal Challengers Bangalore, completing his half-century in 21 deliveries, helping Punjab Kings reach 83/1 in the power-play. Bairstow was eventually out for 66 off 29 deliveries after one of the most astounding assaults in IPL history, tonking the pacers without mercy, hitting them across the line on a pitch that had and offered a bit of swing. But Bairstow negated that and did not give the RCB bowlers much time to settle down and
After RCB had reeled in the free-scoring Punjab Kings in the middle overs by claiming some quick wickets, Livingstone got into the act and took them past the 200-run mark.
Livingstone took over the mantle of scoring runs from his colleague from England, got himself set, and then blasted some superb shots late in the innings to complete his half0-century off 35 balls as Punjab Kings set Royal Challengers Bangalore a stiff target to chase. He was eventually out, caught behind by Dinesh Karthik off Harshal Patel on the second ball of the 20th over for a 42-ball 70. Punjab Kings lost Rishi Dhawan (7) and Rahul Chahar (2) in the final over as they finished with 209/9 in 20 overs, setting RCB a stiff target to chase.
Harshal Patel was the most successful bowler for Royal Challengers Bangalore, claiming 4/34 while Wanindu Hasaranga applied the brakes in the middle overs with superb figures of 2/15 in his four overs.
Earlier, Bairstow started in fourth gear as he launched an astonishing attack in the powerplay, blasting seven sixes as Punjab Kings piled up 83/1in the first six overs — the highest this season. It was the sixth-highest power-play score in IPL history — the list led by Kolkata Knight Riders, who had blasted 105/0 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2017.
And they had Bairstow to thank for that brilliant start as the England batter launched an early assault, feasting on some innocuous bowling as he was fed short balls on middle and leg stump initially, and later he started picking those on the off and pulling them across the line to the square-leg region.
He made his intentions clear with a six off Glenn Maxwell in the first over and then waded into Josh Hazlewood in the second, hammering him for two sixes and two fours for 20 runs.
With Shikhar Dhawan taking a single and a wide, the over cost RCB 22 runs. He jumped out and swung Hazlewood from around his front pad and deposited him high over cow corner. After the Aussie pacer send down a wide, Bairstow blasted the next legal delivery for a huge six over square-leg, hitting across the line once again.
Faf du Plessis responded by taking off Hazlewood and bringing in Mohammad Siraj but Bairstow pulled him flat over square-leg for a six off the third delivery. An over later, he hammered Siraj for three sixes, swatting his back of the length delivery well over long-on, flicking off his toes for another effortless six that brought his half-century in 21 deliveries and smashing the last ball of the over flat over the mid-wicket boundary.
With Bairstow dispatching the first ball of the over from a boundary, the over cost 23 runs in all as Siraj had bowled a beamer too.
He shared a 60-run partnership with Dhawan (21, 15 balls, 4 x 2, 6 x1), the India opener enjoying the carnage from the best seat available in the stadium before attempting a slog-sweep off Maxwell, missing it completely and the ball hit the stumps.
Led by Wanindu Hasranga, who gave away three runs while claiming the wicket of Rajapaksa in the seventh over, Royal Challengers applied the brakes on the free-scoring Punjab Kings as the middle overs from seven to 15 cost them only 40/3.
Punjab Kings lost Bhanuka Rajapaksa (1), Bairstow (66), and skipper Mayank Agarwal (19) in this period. But then Livingstone ensured that PBKS crossed the 200-run mark, sharing a 51-run partnership with skipper Mayank Agarwal (19) and blasting 24 runs off the 19th over bowled by Hazlewood, who finished with disappointing figures of 0/64 off his four overs.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings 209/9 in 20 overs (Jonny Bairstow 66, Shikhar Dhawan 21, Liam Livingstone 70; Harshal Patel 4/34, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/15) against Royal Challengers Bangalore.