NAVI MUMBAI: Skipper Faf du Plessis roared back to form after a string of low scores with a breezy 96 to steer Royal Challengers Bangalore to 181 for six against Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League here on Tuesday.
Opening the innings, du Plessis, who failed to put up a big score since his sensational 88 in RCB's first game of the season, anchored the innings to perfection and got out only on the penultimate ball of the final over.
The former Proteas captain had 11 boundaries and two sixes in his 64-ball innings, playing shots all around the DY Patil Stadium. The Super Giants invited RCB to bat and the bowlers managed to strike at regular intervals but had no answers for du Plessis.
Sri Lankan right-arm pacer Dushmantha Chameer (2/31 off 3) bowled a fruitful first over for LSG, snaring the wickets of opener Anuj Rawat (4) and Virat Kohli (0), whose struggles with the bat continued as he got out for a first-ball duck.
Glenn Maxwell (23) looked to continue his explosive run in the IPL. The Australian played a counter-attacking innings as he slammed Chameera for two fours and a six in the third over. The all-rounder, however, went down after a quick cameo while playing his favourite shot -- the switch hit -- as LSG took control of the match again.
Maxwell went for the reverse sweep off a Krunal Pandya (1/29) delivery but failed to middle it, with a diving Jason Holder completing the catch as RCB slipped to 44/3. Young Suyash Prabhudessai (10) followed a couple of overs later, even as du Plessis ensured RCB continued scoring at a healthy rate.
Alongside Shahbaz Ahmed (26), du Plessis added 70 runs for the fifth wicket, with the former playing the perfect second fiddle. The veteran batter switched gears in the slog overs with Dinesh Karthik (13 not out), who himself is in imperious form, by his side.
Together they took RCB beyond the 180-run mark. Du plessis came close to scoring his maiden IPL century but was dismissed by Holder with one ball left in the innings.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore: 181/6 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 96; Dushmantha Chameera 2/31, Jason Holder 2/25) vs Lucknow Super Giants