Punjab Kings inaugurated their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign with a five-wicket win against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday at the DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai. Faf du Plessis and Mayank Agarwal seized the reign as both Bangalore and Punjab advanced with new captains on the field. The DY Patil stadium also hosted its first IPL game since the 2011 fixture between Pune and Kolkata.
After being invited to bat first, Bangalore managed to administer an enormous total of 205 on a hard and green DY Patil wicket. Faf du Plessis, who averages 60 against Punjab, took the guard for Bangalore alongside Anuj Rawat. The newly-appointed captain Faf looked a bit nervy as Bangalore only managed to put on 41 runs in the powerplay. Similarly, the 22-year old Anuj looked promising at the start but soon departed trying to execute a slog sweep against Rahul Chahar. Punjab Kings had a dazzling start with the bowl as they conceded only four boundaries in the powerplay. However, Punjab was penurious in the field, which further gave Bangalore the momentum to construct a partnership.
Faf was batting at 27 off 36 before Bangalore made 14 runs out of Livingstone’s over. Soon after, the 37-year old smashed four sixes in his next five deliveries. While Faf was playing the aggressor, Virat was playing the supporting role by knocking one’s and two’s. They both were involved in a partnership of 118, which sustained Bangalore’s innings in the middle overs. Faf du Plessis, who was dropped on 7, went on scoring 88 off just 57 deliveries, including seven sixes and three fours. Dinesh Karthik, who was the next man in, handed the finishing touches by scoring 32 off 14 in the last three overs.