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Du Plessis fifty, bowlers carry RCB to four-wicket win over GT

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Bengaluru, May 4: Royal Challengers Bengaluru pressed the self-destruction button halfway but a blazing fifty by captain Faf du Plessis had enough torque in it to carry them to a four-wicket over Gujarat Titans in their IPL match here on Saturday.
Du Plesiss (64, 23b, 10×4, 3×6) and Kohli (42, 27b, 2×4, 4×6), who added 92 runs in just 35 balls for the opening wicket, were in prime touch as Royal Challengers moved past a frail target of 148, braving some nervy moments, most of it their own creation.
The win also lifted RCB to seventh place on the table with eight points from 11 matches, and kept their mathematical chances of making it to the play-offs alive.
Du Plessis and Kohli dealt in boundaries as the home side racked in 92 runs in Power Play, that contained 10 fours and seven maximums.
Both Du Plessis and Kohli were severe on all GT bowlers, as the latter began the butchering with two sixes off pacer Mohit Sharma in the first over.
Du Plessis was in no mood to play the role of a sidekick as he waded into left-arm pacer Josh Little with a sequence of 4, 6, 4, 4 in the second over that produced a total of 20 runs.
The Titans introduced IPL debutant left-arm spinner Manav Suthar in the hope of containing Kohli at least, but the ploy was foiled spectacularly.
The RCB talisman showed his increasing comfort against spin, clobbering Suthar for two successive sixes.Du Plessis reserved his punitive blade for Mohit, whom he carted around for four fours in the fifth over, as the South African reached fifty in just 18 balls before falling to Little.
RCB entered a phase of struggle from there as they lost last match centurion Will Jacks, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green between the sixth and 10th overs for just 20 runs.
Little (4/45) and spinner Noor Ahmad (2/23) were the chief perpetrators as RCB slipped from 92 for 1 to 112 for five.Ahmad soon ousted Kohli as RCB were 117 for six but Dinesh Karthik (21 not out, 12b) was cool under pressure as RCB notched their overall fourth and third win in a row of this season.
Before RCB batsmen joined the party, their bowlers came up with an immaculate effort on a supportive pitch to bowl GT to a modest 147.There were a couple of good partnerships – 61 between David Miller and Shahrukh Khan and 44 by Rahul Tewatia and Rashid Khan – but the Titans lacked that one big innings or a stand that could have given them a firmer grip on the match.
In fact, they seemed distinctly incapable of accelerating even in the Power Play as their top-order batters struggled against RCB pacers, Mohammed Siraj (2/29) and Yash Dayal (2/21) who stuck to a wonderful length.
That GT managed to strike just two fours in Power Play offered ample evidence to their struggle and RCB bowlers’ accuracy.
The Gujarat side’s Power Play score of 23 for three was the lowest in the segment this season, and it was mainly due to Siraj’s domination upfront.He consumed an out-of-form Wriddhiman Saha with a fine outswinger which the GT opener wafted to Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps. (PTI)

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