Royal Challengers Bangalore regained its winning ways in the Indian Premier League 2023 with a 24-run victory over Punjab Kings on April 20 at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Virat Kohli and Faf Du Plessis scored superb half-centuries to account for the majority of RCB’s runs in their team’s first innings total of 174/4.
In retaliation, Mohammed Siraj’s four-over spell yielded four wickets for twenty-one runs against Punjab’s second innings total of 150. The victory was extra special for RCB supporters because it occurred under the stewardship of Virat Kohli, who served as stand-in captain after Du Plessis was replaced by Impact Player Vijaykumar Vyshak during the second innings. Notably, Du Plessis had previously collapsed on his ribs, so he decided to sit out the RCB’s fielding and reassign the leadership position to Kohli.
With this victory, RCB moved up to fifth place in the points tally, having won three of six matches. Following the team’s clinical performance, Kohli stated that the team was not currently focused on the points table and that they would consider it during the final few league games.
“The standings cannot describe your team. In games 13 or 14, we’ll be able to focus on what we need to do, Kohli said during the post-match presentation.
Kohli and Du Plessis added 137 runs for the first wicket off 97 deliveries, igniting the RCB offense. His opening partner scored 84 off 56 deliveries, while Kohli scored 59 off 47 balls. In addition to praising Du Plessis for his innings, the RCB captain noted that the surface was rough underneath.
“Faf performed admirably on that field. His innings ensured that we had an extra 20 to 30 runs at the end. I believe there was a lack of moisture beneath the field, as it was very rocky. Almost no sixes were struck off the back foot against spinners,” added Kohli.
“Told them the target was more than enough,” Kohli said to bowlers as RCB took four wickets in the powerplay.
The 34-year-old also praised the bowlers for claiming four wickets during the powerplay and disrupting the opposition’s batting.
“The plan was to strike deeply in an attempt to score 190. Inform them that the target was more than sufficient. Cannot afford to extend the contest, particularly after losing 6-7 wickets. The batting lineups are more robust, but we also have bowling options. At the halfway point, the plan was to take the game to the opposition, and when you take four wickets during the powerplay, it’s as if you crack the game open,” he added.
Punjab remained in the game until the 19th over despite losing four wickets in the powerplay, thanks to superb knocks from Prabhsimran Singh (46 off 30 balls) and Jitesh Sharma (41 off 27 balls). However, Harshal Patel dismissed Sharma on the second delivery of the nineteenth over, securing the victory for his team.
Mohammed Siraj was named Player of the Match for his four-wicket performance, and he also received the Purple Cap as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 12 to date.