Royal Challengers Bangalore’s new captain Faf du Plessis ensured that RCB fans didn’t miss AB de Villiers in their opening match of the IPL 2022 season against Punjab Kings at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Du Plessis got off the blocks at a snail’s pace but the confidence in his skills paid off once he settled down. After being on 17 (33) at one stage, the South African blitzed his way to 88 (57) balls, scoring a ridiculous 71 runs in his last 24 balls.
In the process, he recreated his close friend and Proteas teammate, de Villiers’ shots. In the 13th over of the RCB innings, all hell broke loose as Odean Smith was taken apart by du Plessis.
He snatched 23 runs from the over, including two sixes and a four. The first one was a full-blooded pull stroke while the next was a wonderfully executed scoop shot. It reminded fans of the carnage de Villiers was famous for before he retired from all formats last year.
It was a slow start for RCB with du Plessis struggling to time the ball. Debutante Anuj Rawat played some aggressive strokes at the other end but the lack of timing was causing issues for the batters.
Once the RCB captain got his eye in, things changed quite dramatically. In the first 9 overs, RCB only put up 57 runs on the board. The final 11 overs saw them fetch a whopping 148 runs, with Virat Kohli and du Plessis going berserk.
The total of 205/2 is the highest in this season so far and is quite a steep mountain for PBKS to scale.
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