Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) put up a stellar performance to beat Lucknow Super Giants by 18 runs in a low-scoring encounter of the IPL 2023 at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on Monday night. Batting first, RCB mustered 126/9 in 20 overs in a game that was briefly disrupted by rain. Skipper Faf du Plessis emerged the top scorer with 44 while his opening partner Virat Kohli contributed 31. The duo put on 62 runs in nine overs.
RCB’s bowlers fired on all cylinders after the innings break and bowled out LSG for 108 in 19.5 overs on a pitch that was sluggish and made life difficult for batsmen. The fact that LSG skipper KL Rahul was injured during fielding and came on to bat only after the fall of nine wickets, and his team needing 24 off 8 balls, did not help matters. Spinner Karn Sharma and paceman Josh Hazlewood emerged the best of the RCB bowlers, taking 2/20 and 2/15 respectively.
Meanwhile, some heated exchanges between Kohli and former India opener Gautam Gambhir, who is now the mentor of the LSG squad, was witnessed post the match, about which JioCinema IPL expert Anil Kumble was not impressed. He said: “A lot of emotion goes in but you don`t want to be displaying those emotions here. This is important, you need to have a conversation. But this is something that’s unacceptable.
“No matter what, you have to respect the opposition and the game. Once a game is over, you have to shake hands and tip your hat off, not to the player but to the game because that’s something you need to respect? I don’t know what was spoken, some things may have been personal and you don’t want that on the cricket field. But with Gautam and Virat and the players involved, it wasn`t the nicest thing to see,” he added.
— Mehulsinh Vaghela (@LoneWarrior1109) May 1, 2023
On Rahul’s injury, Kumble said: “If KL probably was fit, we would`ve seen a different story here, especially on this kind of a surface.”
Former India batter Robin Uthappa was extremely impressed with the spinner’s performance, saying: “He was dropped after performing so well, especially getting wickets in Bangalore. Not very expensive but still getting wickets, which is crucial in Bangalore. He didn’t figure in the side after Hasaranga came into the XI. You can never have too many leg-spinners in a T20 game, can you?”