RCB’s slow start proved the difference between the sides, even if du Plessis made up for it during his 57-ball 88

Punjab Kings 208 for 5 (Rajapaksa 43, Dhawan 43, Agarwal 32, Siraj 2-59) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 205 for 2 (du Plessis 88, Kohli 41*, Karthik 32*) by five wickets

Punjab Kings’ new-look explosive batting made a splendid debut as they chased down Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 205 with an over to spare. The difference between the sides was RCB’s slow start: 57 for 1 in the first nine overs despite 16 extras at that point.

Faf du Plessis managed to turn things around after having scored just 17 off his first 30 balls, Virat Kohli supported him with 41 off 29, and Dinesh Karthik provided the finishing cameo of 32 off 14, but it was no match to the sustained hitting throughout the Kings innings.


WATCH - Odean Smith hits Mohammed Siraj for 6, 4, 6

WATCH – Odean Smith hits Mohammed Siraj for 6, 4, 6

Kings are a side set up to threaten the biggest of targets; in hitting 14 sixes and 11 fours, they justified the excitement around the squad they had put together at the auction table. Except for Raj Bawa, who got a golden duck on debut, each of their batters hurt the RCB bowlers, with Bhanuka Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batter, proving to be the surprise element. In his 22-ball 43, he took down compatriot Wanindu Hasaranga, who had taken a wicket first ball.

More to follow…

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo