MUMBAI, India (AP) — Captain Faf du Plessis just missed out on a maiden Indian Premier League century while Josh Hazlewood grabbed 4-25 as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Lucknow Super Giants by 18 runs on Tuesday.
Du Plessis smashed 96 off 64 balls as Bangalore made 181-6 after being asked to bat first.
Hazlewood then strangled Lucknow on a lively, bouncy wicket as it was limited to 163-8, Krunal Pandya top-scoring with 42 off 28 balls.
“Faf had a few lean games but tonight he took his time, kept the score going and finished with a bang, so credit to him,” Hazlewood said.
Bangalore went level with Gujarat Titans at the top of the table on 10 points but Gujarat has a game in hand. Lucknow is fourth with eight points from seven matches.
Sri Lanka fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera struck twice in the day’s first over, including the key wicket of Virat Kohli for a golden duck.
Kohli, who has a top score of 48 this season, was caught at point.
Glenn Maxwell hit 23 off 11 balls but fell in the batting powerplay to a mistimed reverse sweep as Jason Holder plucked a brilliant one-handed diving catch.
But du Plessis shared a 70-run stand with Shahbaz Ahmed and dominated leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, who returned expensive figures of 0-47. The Bangalore skipper hit 11 fours and two sixes before he fell in the final over, holing out to Marcus Stoinis off Holder’s slow bouncer.
Lucknow’s top-order then struggled against Hazlewood as the Australian fast bowler removed Quinton de Kock (3) and Manish Pandey (6) inside the batting powerplay.
Captain KL Rahul looked to have put the chase back on track with 30 off 24 balls before he got an edge while attempting to leg-glance Harshal Patel.
Maxwell, who bowled an over with the new ball, returned to claim the wicket of Pandya as the left-hander was caught at deep mid-wicket.
Hazlewood then put the game beyond Lucknow’s reach by having Ayush Badoni caught behind before clean-bowling countryman Stoinis for 24 in the penultimate over.
“We needed one batter in the top three or four to play a long innings and for other batters to play with him but we couldn’t get that,” Lucknow skipper Rahul said. “When we’re up, we have to keep the opposition down and restrict them to as low a score as possible and that’ll make batting easier chasing.”
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