Royal Challengers Bangalore rode on skipper Faf du Plessis’ breezy 96 and Josh Hazlewood’s brilliant

Royal Challengers Bangalore rode on skipper Faf du Plessis’ breezy 96 and Josh Hazlewood’s brilliant bowling to inflict an 18-run defeat on Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL here on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old du Plessis roared back to form after a string of low scores with a 64-ball knock to help RCB post 181 for six after being sent into bat.

Pace spearhead Hazlewood (4/25) then picked two wickets upfront and two at the fag end as RCB restricted LSG to 163 for eight to register their fifth win of the season.

Both Hazlewood and du Plessis’ brilliant individual performances, though, may be a bit overshadowed by the chatter around the two ball sequence leading to Marcus Stoinis’ wicket in which a wide outside off wasn’t called followed by him shuffling way too much in the next delivery and playing on.

Nevertheless, RCB are now second in the points table while LSG slumped to fourth. Opening the innings, du Plessis, who failed to put up a big score since his sensational 88 in RCB’s first game of the season, anchored the innings to perfection and got out only on the penultimate ball of the final over.

Hazlewood rocked LSG’s chase early on as he bowled a fine opening spell. Using the bounce and movement on offer, he accounted for the dangerous Quinton de Kock (3) and Manish Pandey (6) in quick time.

The Australian quick, who was consistent with his line and length, bowled a frugal spell, giving away just 25 runs.

LSG skipper KL Rahul made his way back to the dug out soon after Pandey as a delivery down the leg-side kissed his bat and RCB opted to review it. UltraEdge showed a spike and RCB got their massive breakthrough, thanks to the brilliant review.

While Krunal Pandya (42) was scoring runs at a good rate, he looked uncomfortable against Glenn Maxwell, and eventually fell to the Australian.

LSG weren’t able to string substantial partnerships together. Deepak Hooda (13), Stoinis (24) and Ayush Badoni (13) were guilty of wasting their starts.  Harshal Patel (2/47) picked up two wickets while Mohammed Siraj (1/31) and Maxwell (1/11) accounted for a batter each.