Punjab Kings buried Royal Challengers Bangalore under a deluge of runs as they kept their play-off hopes alive with 54-run victory, riding on superb half-centuries from Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone in an IPL match here on Friday. Bairstow (66 off 29 balls) and Livingstone (70 off 42 balls) propelled Punjab Kings to 209 for 9 in a must-win game and the scoreboard was always going to be telling as RCB were restricted to 155 for 9 in 20 overs.
IPL FULL COVERAGE | SCHEDULE | RESULTS | ORANGE CAP | PURPLE CAP
While Punjab remain in the mix with 12 points from as many games, the margin of victory considerably improved their net run-rate to +0.210 and RCB despite having 14 points from 13 games are at a -0.323. A lot of credit for this big win goes to British duo of Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone. After the match, Livingstone praised his compatriot, thanking him for setting up the platform for the final push.
“Jonny was outstanding and set the tone, from then on we were ahead of the game. It was a chance for myself to get in and assess the conditions a little bit longer than usual. It was nice to knock it around for a little bit before setting a platform to get at the end. Jonny set it up for the rest of the batters and the way we bowled was exceptional on a very good pitch. I still thought we were 10-15 short with the size of the boundary and how good the pitch was, all credit goes to our bowlers,” said Livingstone. He added that he has the skills to bat ‘anywhere.’
“I am seeing the ball well at the moment and it is nice to put in performances to win games for your team. Wherever I play, batting in different positions, I have the skill set to bat anywhere and that is something that sets me up really well.”
Earlier, Bairstow’s opening blitzkrieg found its ideal match in Livingstone’s finishing carnage.
While Bairstow laid the foundation with a 29-ball-66, Livingstone was equally good in his 42-ball-70 as the RCB bowlers had a day which they would like to forget in a hurry.
“It’s one of those days. A couple of those come off and it’s your day. Many quality bowlers in the IPL and sometimes you’ve got to try and get them off their lengths (taking on Josh). It’s a completely different commodity, playing with England and playing here. Stats would suggest I quite enjoy opening the batting. The bats are very good, I must admit,” Man of the Match Bairtstow said in post match presentation.
Get all the latest updates on Cricket News, Cricket Photos, Cricket Videos, IPL 2022 Live Updates and Cricket Scores here