IPL 2023: Mohammed Siraj’s terrific four-fer helps RCB beat Punjab Kings by 24 runs

 A terrific four-fer (4/21) from fast bowler Mohammed Siraj helped Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Punjab Kings by 24 runs and register their first away win of IPL 2023 at the IS Bindra PCA Stadium, here on Thursday.

After Faf du Plessis’s impressive 84 of 56 balls took Bangalore to 174/4, Siraj breathed fire in the powerplay and death overs to clinch his best-ever figures in the IPL. He was well-supported by Wanindu Hasaranga, Wayne Parnell and Harshal Patel.

With some superb fielding coming into play, Bangalore managed to bowl out Punjab for 150 in 18.2 overs.

Siraj began his superb show by trapping Atharva Taide lbw on his second ball after the review showed the ball crashing into leg-stump. Hasaranga struck on the first ball of the third over by castling Matthew Short with a googly.

Siraj returned in the fourth over to trap Liam Livingstone lbw, which was given ‘not out’ by the on-field umpire. After a long chat with Siraj and Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli went for a review, which paid off as replays showed ball hitting top of leg-stump, giving the pacer his seventh power-play wicket of IPL 2023.

Siraj’s powerful direct hit from mid-off then caught Harpreet Bhatia short of his crease at the striker’s end as Punjab ended power-play at 43/4. Prabhsimran Singh put some pressure on Bangalore by launching Hasaranga for a brace of sixes over long-on fence.

But Bangalore continued to pick wickets as Sam Curran was run-out by a direct hit from Hasaranga while going for a quick single and two overs later, Prabhsimran’s blitzkrieg ended when Parnell uprooted his off-stump while Hasaranga had Shahrukh Khan stumped easily.

Jitesh Sharma began to show first signs of aggression by slamming Hasaranga for a six down the ground, followed by carving impact player Vyshak Vijaykumar over extra cover for four and then hit another six down the ground.

Jitesh got a life on 38 when Kohli dropped his catch at long-on off Harshal on the last ball of the 17th over. Siraj struck in the next over by castling Harpreet Brar and Nathan Ellis in a span of four balls, before Jitesh sliced to backward point in Harshal Patel’s over, giving Bangalore their third win of IPL 2023.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 174/4 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 84, Virat Kohli 59; Harpreet Brar 3/31, Arshdeep Singh 1/34) beat Punjab Kings 150 in 18.2 overs (Prabhsimran Singh 46, Jitesh Sharma 41; Mohammed Siraj 4/21, Wanindu Hasaranga 2/39) by 24 runs.

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