England duo slams 50s to help PBKS defeat RCB

Bairstow laid the foundation with a 29-ball-66, Livingstone was equally good in his 42-ball-70 as the Bangalore bowlers had a day which they would like to forget in a hurry.
England duo slams 50s to help PBKS defeat RCB
Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstoneiplt20.com

MUMBAI: Riding on a brilliant batting performance from Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone, Punjab Kings dealt a major blow to Royal Challengers Bangalore’s playoff hopes with a 54-run win in the IPL here on Friday. Set to chase a daunting target of 210, Bangalore was restricted to 155 for 9.

This is Punjab’s sixth win in 12 matches and keeps its hopes of reaching playoffs alive, while Bangalore suffered its sixth loss in 13 games.

Bangalore’s batters failed to fire in unison losing the top three wickets inside five overs. Glenn Maxwell 35 (22b, 3x4, 1x6) and Rajat Patidar 26 (21b, 1x4, 2x6) tried to steady the ship but once they were separated it was all downhill for Bangalore. Kagiso Rabada was once again the pick of the bowlers taking three wickets, while Rishi Dhawan and Rahul Chahar chipped in with two wickets apiece.

Earlier, Bairstow’s opening blitzkrieg found its ideal match in Livingstone’s finishing carnage as Punjab put up an imposing 209 for 9.

While Bairstow laid the foundation with a 29-ball-66, Livingstone was equally good in his 42-ball-70 as the Bangalore bowlers had a day which they would like to forget in a hurry.

Bairstow, who was rusty during the earlier phase of the tournament, was back in his element with as many as seven sixes and four boundaries during a knock where he literally went hell for leather.

Such was his dominance that by the time six overs of Powerplay ended, Bairstow had hit seven towering sixes and Shikhar Dhawan (21 off 15 balls) rubbed salt into the wound with another one which made it eight in all.

Punjab, which had set the template of blazing Powerplay starts, got 83 in six overs with Glenn Maxwell (1/17 in 2 overs), Josh Hazlewood (0/64 in 4 overs) and Mohammed Siraj (0/36 in 2 overs) being treated with utter disdain. While Maxwell did manage to get Dhawan, both Hazlewood and Siraj were guilty of bowling short on a pitch offering true bounce. Bairstow effortlessly pulled and flicked them into the stands and by the time, deliveries pitched up, they landed in the stands as well.

It only helped that the boundary on one side was 66 metres only, which is a dream for any power-hitter.

Siraj had a forgettable first spell where he was hit for four sixes, while Hazlewood in his first over had gone for 22. The Australian had his worst IPL figures ever.

However, post Powerplay, once Wanindu Hasaranga (2/15 in 4 overs) and Shahbaz Ahmed (1/40 in 4 overs) started operating, Bengaluru stemmed the flow of runs with some tight wicket-to-wicket bowling.

Bengal left-arm spinner Shahbaz was rewarded for his tight lines as Bairstow finally mistimed one and Siraj did well to pouch the skier.

After 83 in the first six, there was a drastic dip in scoring as 22 came in between 7th and 10th overs.

Both Hasaranga and Shahbaz bowled wide outside the off-stump not letting Livingstone and Agarwal to charge down the track.

Still the Englishman managed a couple of sixes and a reverse swept boundary to continue his good form in the competition and then muscled into the stands towards the fag end even as Harshal Patel (4/34 in 4 overs) was exceptional at the death.

His fifty came off 35 balls and by the time he was out, he had four out of those 14 sixes in the Punjab innings.

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