Newly-appointed Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis pummeled the Punjab Kings attack to submission as his 88 steered his team to 205 for 2 in their IPL game here on Sunday. While Du Plessis showed his six-hitting prowess, hammering seven maximums in his 57-ball knock, Virat Kohli, who had stepped down as skipper, also chipped in with an unbeaten 41 off 29 balls.
Wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik joined the part late in the innings with a quick fire 32 not out off just 14 balls. Du Plessis, who also struck three fours, and Kohli added 118 runs for the second wicket after the former and Anuj Rawat (21) had laid the foundation with their 50 run-stand.
RCB amassed 11 ‘extra’ runs, off the second over off Arshdeep Singh. Du Plessis got his first boundary in the third, while in the same over, Rawat hit his first maximum, as RCB raced to 23/0. Rawat hit successive boundaries in the sixth over, off Odean Smith. But leg-spinner Rahul Chahar (1/22) cut shot Rawat’s stay by cleaning him up in the seventh over. Kohli came in and he took time to settle down.
After successive twos, Kohli’s first maximum came in the 10th over as RCB fetched 13 runs off it and at 70/1, the foundation was laid for a big total.
The former South Africa skipper, who got a ‘life’, made optimum use of it and then upped the ante, as the carnage started from the 12th over when he hammered a towering six off Liam Livingstone.
Du Plessis was brutal on Odean Smith, whom he hammered for a boundary and two successive sixes. He followed it up with two sixes off Harpreet Brar (0/38). Kohli, who hit a four and two sixes, was also in his elements, as he played shots at will. He, however, played second fiddle to Du Plessis when the South African was in full flow.
Du Plessis was dismissed in the 18th over, but by then the damage had been done. A quick-fire 32 from Karthik off just 14 balls, in which he smashed three sixes and as many fours, took RCB beyond the 200-run mark.